Jim facetimed today to offer congratulations. He knew I’ve been out of my mind about the election, as has everyone in the States. I tried–and failed–to explain my mixed responses to the long process culminating in Biden’s victory: befuddlement, outrage, hopefulness, worry, elation, relief, exhaustion. Jim says, “If you want to write it all down you know where to send it.” Here you go, brother. (JC adds…..this arrived with an hour of the phone call!!)


Goldie the Friendly Psychologist and I discuss the debates, the barnstorming, the reports and analysis leading up to Tuesday, November 3rd. She’s all in for the fight but I can’t bear Electioneering.

Goldie and I bet on whose ballot will be received first: She mails hers with extra postage and I drop mine off at a neighborhood ballot box. I lose: she gets an email saying hers has been received and will be counted. I have to wait another day before I’ve Got Mine.

I am swayed by Goldie’s unrelenting optimism. The polls are looking really good. Our friend Aliceann is wary on the Monday but I’m projecting confidence. “Don’t Worry About The Government” I jokingly text her.

And then it’s the 3rd. Goldie is upbeat as always but I’m getting the uneasy feeling that Something’s Gone Wrong Again.

As the day progresses it’s clear that the lopsided polls were All Wrong, and I’m sick, depressed, and stunned. Not Goldie. “It’ll be fine when they count the mail-in votes. Don’t worry.”

Meanwhile, The Waiting is killing me. I am plagued by the twin thoughts that Voldemort will win a second term and that all the wisdom I can muster in opposition is a Tom Petty lyric.

Goldie is unperturbed late into the evening. “We’re going to win,” she says with peremptory authority. I am wondering whether to crack another bottle but She Goes to Bed.

Thursday the 5th things are looking a little brighter. Will Anything Happen? Apparently not. Biden is stuck on 253 electoral votes all day long and the next day, too.

Friday night and still no announcements. The vote counts are turning the battleground States blue. Goldie takes it as a certain victory but I’m at my limit: “Just Tell Me When It’s Over.”

We wake up Saturday and Pennsylvania has declared for Biden, followed shortly by Nevada. JC rings and we muse about possible criminal convictions of the *President*. Whatever happens to him, at long last we can say Clowntime Is Over.

“I knew it all along,” says the beautiful Goldie, and goes off to walk the dog,

Songs linked to above:

Talking Heads
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Jason Falkner
The Dream Syndicate
Elvis Costello (of course)


JC adds……this has been an unexpected and essential late change to plans.  The R.E.M. series will return next Sunday.

9 thoughts on “A LETTER FROM AMERICA

  1. Given the last several days it was a matter of when, not if, that Biden was called. But when …

    As the call came in there was joy here. For Trump it was over – no matter how many toys he threw (and will continue to throw) out of that pram of his – he is, at last, done as ongoing President. After all … he was so concerned that as his presidency burned before his eyes he fiddled with his golf clubs – but not before bombarding supporters with emails for more cash.

    Talk now turns to Trump pardoning himself for any and all federal crimes and providing immunity to his closest allies.

    Whatever the sideshow, on the main stage, America can hopefully move forward and, in time, undo much of Trump’s ‘legacy’. I suspect the future holds either prison or a Trump (Kardashian-style) TV show – much like the last years.

    Choorio Donald. You’ve been terrible.

    Thanks for the ICA!

  2. It is a massive relief having someone headed to the White House who won’t skew every single policy to his wealthy friends, state-privatizers, and world-assaulting interests… all the while fanning the flames of xenophobia, hatred, and repression. For now, I’ll let that be enough and hope the rhetoric of last night arrives in real, material, sustainable, just and equitable policies down the road.
    I’ve been away from TNVV for a while, this has been the semester from hell where I teach (exacerbated by brutal “service” to the university and trying to keep up with my research), at home (college kid on line, high school kid on line, wife working from home), in our town (COVID-indifferent drunk-ass university students), across the country (COVID, police brutality, Trump, the election), and around the world (good lord, y’all wtf with the exploding virus rates?!.) At least there’s Harry Kane.

    It was gratifying, if a bit nerve wracking, to see the major REAL NEWS media outlets avoid being premature in their calling of the election. Pollsters and polls have proven for the 3rd time this century that they are little more than fortunetellers and second sighters who’s results are swayed by opinions and agendas.
    The USA is still a house divided, but there’s a movement of citizens looking for positive outcomes and results for all Americans. I think we have elected the candidate best positioned to get this underway.

  4. What a lovely read. Goodbye Trump. Goodbye to you and your strange and current wife and your I-wish-he’d never-been-born, elephant-killing prick of a son. Suck it up, Donald: everybody hurts sometime.

  5. Brilliant!!
    While my story would read more like Goldie’s, you managed to capture the general intensity of these past few days.
    The war is over, huzzah!!

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