Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My family should all have lived to see today

My mother just called. She's still in tears. She went to bed at 10 her time, hopeful but not sure. Something woke her around 2 AM and she turned on her TV to find that something she never thought she'd live to see had come to pass.

When my mother was a child, she and her family spent some time in Miami. Since my Bubbeh (grandmother; I called my maternal grandmother that to distinguish her from Grandma, the paternal grandmother who haunts me...okay, she doesn't HAUNT me but she watches over me...) was unable to drive, she took the bus everywhere. One day, she saw a young black woman board the bus carrying several heavy looking bags. Bubbeh moved aside and motioned for the young woman to sit beside her. The woman refused, because it was illegal for a black person to sit in the front, or white, part of the bus. Bubbeh was insistent and to avoid causing a scene, the young woman sat down. The driver stopped the bus and threw both my Bubbeh and the young black woman off the bus. He also contacted the police who threatened both with arrest. Bubbeh was having none of this and she gave both the driver and the officer a large piece of her mind.

My mother cried last night and is still crying. She lived to see a black man win the Presidency of the United States. Okay, she said, yeah, he's biracial but that's even more astounding to her. The sight of so many black faces on the stage there, as the next President of the United States spoke to the crowd made her so proud. And it made her so miss her own mother, who dreamt of this moment.

Somewhere out there, Bubbeh (Manya) Kirtzman is laughing, cheering, and saying, "I told you so!" Grandpa (Kolya) Kirtzman is holding her hand and cheering alongside her. My father is there somewhere, trying to cheer but I'm pretty sure Grandpa Johnpoll is interrupting him and saying, "Hey, we got a pinochle game going here, pay attention!" (Grandpa Johnpoll had this strange way of never actually noticing skin color. Stephen Colbert claims to do it. Grandpa Johnpoll did it.) And Grandma Johnpoll was here last night, as she frequently is, nodding and laughing at me for doubting. (The dear departed have this annoying habit of doing that, don't they?)

I have a problem, though. My Nanowrimo novel is a dystopia based on a continuation of the policies set by the Shrub Disadministration. I don't see that in the future anymore and I just plain can't write it. Help? Someone? Plot Ninja, plz?

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