Naturally – a Zoom call
because Zoom has embodied the essence of 2020.
There were 26 of us. Cameras on,
listening to the lecture.
Or not – I don't know. I wasn't.
I was a bit preoccupied. Constantly looking at the numbers.
Oh the magic number 270.
I was willing that tiny blue bar to make its way to the black pixilated line.
Because if that happened there was a chance.
Just a chance
that the future of my country would meld into a shape I wanted to be a part of.
That my country would try harder.
Try harder to be equal, safe, accepting, knowledgeable, respectful.
Surely the majority of the people believed in what I believed in ... right?
Surely my own uncles and aunts and cousins have a similar idea of the future as I ... don't you?
Naturally this transfer of power from fire to ice will only hiss softly,
and not create a new species of hurricanes/blizzards among its counterparts ... please?
That's what I thought about in my Zoom lecture.
Even though the topic was interesting.
Well – I don't know what the heck it was about – but I did try to pay attention at some point.
I'm sorry I was too preoccupied to take notes,
and ate all the Halloween Snickers inspite of myself.
I felt I was a spectator in an intense sports game,
except many more people would win and lose,
and the rematch wouldn't be for another four years.
So much can happen in four years.
Perhaps perhaps perhaps
"Excuse me," someone interjected on Zoom.
I snapped out of my spiraling thoughts and Snickers munching,
thinking I was caught for not paying attention.
The lecturer gazed into the screen to see who was talking, "yes?"
A girl adjusted her camera, her glasses flashing from the screen,
"Sorry – I'm sorry – sorry to interrupt," she said smiling. Bursting. Beaming.
"But I just wanted to let everyone know Biden just officially won the presidency."
The Snickers bar tasted like nothing in my mouth.
The Zoom voices cut out for a moment.
Someone asked if the girl was sure. She confirmed. Apologized again for interrupting.
But I wanted to repeatedly thank her.
I might have housed a stupid look of pure surprise on my face
which slowly turned to hope, and excitement, and power.
And finally –
I was so relieved.
I took a breath of pure fresh air that filled my lungs
and relaxed all the muscles down my back and in my neck and in my eyes.
The entire Zoom class unmuted themselves
we cheered and whooped and clapped on the count of 2.
And we continued to cheer and whoop and clap for a count of 20.
And we smiled and beamed and someone wiped tears from their eyes for a count of 120.
Of course, things won't change overnight.
And what is changed will be opposed and reflected and fought over.
But here is a chance. A hope.
Two leaders who the majority of the country's population have chosen.
The people have spoken.
I'm so glad they said the same thing that I did.
I was then able to listen to that lecture.
I still couldn't tell you what it was about.
I was thoroughly lost and confused in everything
and took notes that made no sense.
(I'm a good student that way.)
But – the weight off my shoulders let me stop thinking of the future,
my family's future, my friends' future.
My rights, my opportunities, my safety, my happiness.
Because the present just got a little bit brighter.