I WENT TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT with the election outcome in doubt. I knew I had to get up at 6:00 to get ready to go out with my sign. I hoped what would happen was that I’d wake up at like 4:00 in the morning and reach for my phone and find that my team had won on a walk-off home run. That’s happened to me more than a few times. I was counting on it happening this morning. But the phone had a CNN alert on the screen that led with the words Donald Trump. No joy in Mudville.
Downtown where I hold my sign for an hour each morning in front of the Dept. Of Education Building, I knew that some of the people who I see every day would think I’d have some special take on the election results. Some walked by me with exaggerated faces of sadness thinking I’d reflect a similar look back at them. They think I’m Mr. Activist because I’m there with my sign. Some flash me peace signs. Some raise a black power fist, which says to me how few people are activists anymore, that I get mistaken for a radical, which I’m not, at least by my historical definition.
A few people stopped and wanted to talk about last night. If I had been in a bar and I still drank, I’d have talked all day about it. But all I said was, I’m not going to give him my day.
I stood there today especially focused on why I was there and on what my sign said. Sometimes my mind wanders for a minute and I bring it back and set my feet and hold my sign straight. Today because I’d just read J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey, I thought about Seymour, and I held it for the Fat Lady.