Bekka Palmer

Election 2016 Part I: Tuesday

Writing, PoliticsBekka Palmer

I walked down Clinton Street in Brooklyn Tuesday morning, confident that we would be making history that day. "This is a day I will never forget," I thought.

I spent the day answering questions from voters and reporting polling place incidents. The messages began to feel like a chant:

"Where do I vote?" 
"What should I bring?"
"Can I get a ride?" 

All of them answered with glee. "At least I am helping," I thought. Knowing that if she lost and I sat idly by, my guilt would be too much to handle.

There were hundreds of us there supporting the cause. Our day was punctuated by the tap tap of keyboards and the ding ding of the phones. 

I stayed until my vision became blurred. It was dark when I walked out of the campaign office. As I walked down the hall someone yelled, "You are a hero!" and I felt like it. It was still early and few states had reported. I walked back the way I came. Feeling a sense of pride and confidence that we had put in the work and now it was time to reap the rewards.

We went to dinner, my eyes were glued to my phone. Refresh, refresh, refresh. A large knot was forming in my stomach. By 11pm I knew our chances were slim, and I knew when it was over I didn't want to be at the bar. I crawled into bed with my laptop on my stomach and my phone in my hand. Refresh, refresh, refresh.

I woke up to darkness at 3am and looked at my phone. The race had been called. I sobbed for hours, Brian telling me, "It's going to be okay."  "It's not," I thought. I didn't sleep again that night, the knot in my stomach grew tighter.

As I rode my bike to work Wednesday morning, I looked at the children walking to school. I saw a Muslim girl. I felt as though we failed her. I failed her. "This is a day I will never forget," I thought. 

// Part II coming tomorrow plus a long list of things you can and should do now