I’m under the covers in bed at 6:30pm at a casino hotel in Reno resting up for blackjack. My friend KC is here, in the next bed over, lamenting that Starbucks doesn’t have room service. We’re back to campaign for Obama in this battleground state after having blast here four years ago . We just ate burgers, fries, and shared a chocolate shake while watching TV. My marathon meal, even though it was more like a consolation prize tonight. AF arrived, so we’re resetting the clock to Cycle Day 1.
On Thursday, after so many days/weeks of nonchalance, I spent the whole day believing, feeling, knowing I was prego. Which annoyed me since I felt that all the very real symptoms were so valid and almost scientific–and suddenly I was invested in a deeper way. No longer fearing superstitions or jinxes, I shared this with AM, with Cr at dinner, and with my mom on the 2-hour drive to a presentation Friday morning. Oddly enough, though, all the symptoms disappeared through the course of that day. We got to Reno, checked into our lovely and incredibly cheap hotel room, went to dinner and a live $10 show of a hypnotist/comedian, followed by a little blackjack. The people-watching is ridiculous–fat families, cleavage, sparkles, cigarettes. So entertaining and sad and not like the casino culture you see in Vegas movies, more like her poor step-cousin.
This morning, we met up at campaign headquarters to get trained and receive our packets and clipboards to go door to door. After knocking on over thirty doors each with good results, KC and I headed back to HQ for another round. While there, I stopped in the loo. And there was AF when I least expected her. I felt almost nothing. Texted AM and my mom. Got back in the car.
Unbelievably, our second packet was for the same trailer park we canvassed four years ago! We remembered it because it was quite a poor area, with ironic street names like “Lucky Lane.” These trailer homes sell for around $24k, which we know from several that were for sale with the price posted. We were both so tired but decided to push through at least a couple of loops and to finish the rest tomorrow.
Just in case I was about to start feeling sorry for myself about try #5, I got a little perspective on Lucky Lane.
At the only house that KC and I did together all day, a man showed us his gun (no joke, people) and said that lucky for us, it was reserved for Republicans. We scooted.
The next house (trailer) I visited had a man sitting alone on the porch, not doing anything but looking out and sitting in the sun. He was around 50 with glasses and a curly little ponytail. He told me that he already voted for Obama absentee. We started chatting and I mentioned I was from San Francisco-and he started raving about it, “Everything there is the best there is,” with a sparkle in his eye because he used to live in the East Bay. He asked me about how I can afford it, “What does your boyfriend or husband do?” He couldn’t believe that I could be making it there on my own, comfortably, and by then he had stood up and had the sun shining behind his head like Jesus or something, and he said, “Well, that’s just amazing and wonderful that you can live there, that you get to experience that life. I guess we all end up where we’re meant to be. You really seem to have it all figured out and all I can do is wish you the very best.” I walked away in tears.
The next house on Lucky Lane was an eighty-five year old man who is going to early vote for Obama and happily accepted a ticket to go see Joe Biden’s rally on Monday. I chatted with him for a while, conscious of the fact that he seemed to be enjoying the conversation. We talked politics, he told me he voted for Roosevelt, how he loved the train system and won’t go through the trouble of learning email at this point. He didn’t keep me, just said how much he appreciated our talk and wished me well. I walked away in tears again.
In between, yes–we had the “I’m not interested” people and KC had someone grab her literature and shove it in the recycling with spite right in front of her. But the majority were so sweet that my little heart could hardly take it.
My last house of the day was two big friendly lesbians and their jumping, licking dogs. They are also going to early vote for Obama and they absolutely love Michelle. I asked them to fill out a card for me that included the question, “What is the number one reason you’re voting for Obama?” and one of them put, “A chance.”
Today, I talked to a teenager whose dad said in the background, “We don’t do Democrats.” To a Latina mom with multiple generations bouncing off the walls just behind the open front door. To a woman who couldn’t attend the Biden rally because it’s her chemo day and she needs to take it easy. To a black man who can’t vote because of his felony.
We all just keep trying, right? And, eventually, mark my words, we’ll get lucky.
And now I’ll have cocktails with my blackjack.