I stayed up late, not sure when I finally knocked out. The TV remained on throughout the night, a habit I picked up whenever there’s a major storm – natural or political. The volume remained just above a whisper, allowing me to perk up whenever an important update is made. An anxiety boiled in my stomach, almost reminiscent of the 2016 election. The feeling ate at me, no matter how much I tried to deny it. (I’ve written this before, haven’t I?)
“I’m worried, you know?”
She nodded, though misunderstood the source of my anxiety. Covid-19 has run our lives these last several months, and now the library was on the brink of reopening our department, spiking our risk of exposure.
“No, not that. Well that too, but this. All of this,” I responded.
After all, it was Tuesday, November 3, 2020. “I’m not going to get any sleep,” I admitted. “Going to need loads of coffee tomorrow. This whole week, maybe.”
“He’s going to win,” she said. “I can feel it.”
Neither of us were speaking of Joe Biden. Despite how much we wanted him to win, we both had TVs. We both saw the MAGA/KAG parades. Just the other day, I watched a truck with a Trump flag run a stop sign and two red lights to get to the polling location. Winning wasn’t in our favor and we both were having dreaded flashbacks to the 2016 outcome.
Another four years of Donald Trump.
At 5:17 am, nothing had been announced. It was still forty-three minutes until my alarm went off, I managed to get a little more sleep. All day at work Wednesday and Thursday, my computer remained open to my three go-to websites for election news and commentary.
The red mirage felt more like the inevitable outcome. Trump would get the reelection and this country will continue to suffer while being the butt of the joke around the world. Texas went blue but dropped to red. Associated Press and Fox News called Arizona for Biden, while the rest of the media outlets stood back.
Then Biden took Michigan and Wisconsin. If AP and Fox News were correct, he just needed Nevada, but they teased the world with morsels of information.
I followed along, keeping notes on the percentage drops and lifts, noting the vote differences between the candidates. My bullet journal – the second one for the year – began to collect these numbers. When Georgia flipped, my aunt texted me at 3:32 am to give me the news, a note I added into my journal.
Pennsylvania also began to favor Biden. But it still felt too early celebrate. We held our collective breaths, while chastising Nevada for not releasing new numbers fast enough. Rumors began to spread through Twitter. It seemed that no one wanted to call for fear of upsetting Trump.
But this morning, as I was making a tweet commenting how the silent majority seemed to be neither silent or a majority, MSNBC announced it. Joe Biden had taken Pennsylvania, making him the 46th president-elect of the United States of America.
It almost didn’t feel real. Nothing that led us here made me believe that Joe Biden would win, no matter how much I wanted it. Not only did that mean that Kamala Harris was our first female Vice-President, but our first African-American and South Asian-American Vice-president, as well.
Celebration broke across the nation, the world. Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, tweeted: “Welcome back America!”
Trump, of course, was golfing.
I watched the speeches made by Madam Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris and President-Elect Joe Biden tonight and my heart swelled. For the first time in four years, I smiled and truly meant it.