Never

20 Jan

We sit transfixed, him and I. He’s seen these things before, being 70, and a news and history hound. He’s saved all the magazines from when Kennedy died, old money, records no one has listened to in ages. He’s seen, lived. Man on the moon, TV, Kraft Dinner.

But he’s seen the darker side, he remembers the bathrooms divided, the city divided. He’s been in riots, narrowly escaped fires. He remembers when it was all so different, and so wrong.

We listen to him speak, the slight, strong figure, who stand ramrod on that screen. We can’t look away.

I ask if he remembers anyone else exciting an entire nation so.

He stops, thinks for a moment. Shakes his head.

“Never.” he nearly whispers “In all my years, I have never seen anything like this.”

He speaks in near awe, yet his is different from mine. He remembers how it was when he wasn’t much older than I was, remembers a time and a place. I stare in awe at the future even my Canadian daughters and their friends will have.

The awed thought that finally, we’ve changed, and my children will grow knowing only that.

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5 Responses to “Never”

  1. Bon January 20, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    i think i need to find me a tv today.

  2. Molly January 20, 2009 at 11:38 am #

    We live in the D.C. area, and despite the inconvenience and the traffic and the unbelievable crush of people in town for this thing, I can’t quite put into words what it feels like to be here right now.

    I remember watching the Berlin Wall come down when I was 13. That’s as close as I can come to describing how it feels here today.

    Also, as no fan of the outgoing administration, it’s like an eight-year-long fever breaking. It’s beautiful.

  3. Helen January 20, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    I think it’s the fact you mention – that our kids will grow up in a world in which it’s considered normal to have minorities in the highest-ranking positions – that brings such joy to me and other parents of young children now.

  4. bromac January 20, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    Same as Helen.

  5. CharmingBitch January 20, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    I-so-much-wish-my-dad-could-have-made-it-just-one-more-month-to-have-been-around-for-today.

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