Wednesday, November 05, 2008

5th November

I woke about 3.30 this morning.
Couldn't sleep again, thinking of the US election.
So I ended up on the sofa under a blanket at 5am watching Obama's acceptance speech.
Crying, deeply moved, aware of a sea change.
A sense of waking up, perhaps, from the long nightmare that began with Thatecher in the 1980's. From that dreadful era in which there was, apparently, "no such thing as society" and the only task of the individual human being was to enrich himself in total indifference to the needs and conditions of others.

Susie would, I know, have loved his reference to the centenarian woman voting yesterday who when she was born could not vote, being a woman and black. She would have loved the shot of the four of them walking hand in hand to the front of the stage. She would have been so proud of the little girls.

She was so proud of ours.

Maybe she welcomed Obama's grandmother into her new life and they were there, somewhere, watching and relishing it all.

I fell back into the most luxurious and happy sleep, waking with intense reluctance to the daily routine, phoning Susie's mum, preparing her shopping list, leaving for the gym.

On the desk was a beautiful, effeminate and impeccably made up young man. The gym brings back so much distress and panic in me, and there he was, confident and professional. Such changes...

In the afternoon I went to Marks and Spencers with a dear friend who had offered to help me buy bras. She used to fit bras when she was a student in a lingerie shop in Morningside and she guided me expertly through the shop, pointing out all the different kinds, the pros and the cons of each, effortlessly selcting a budle to try on and guiding me into the changing room.

And then leaving to put some back to get more.

I realised I actually had no idea what it felt like to wear a properly fitting bra. That in a way this was something I should have been taught when i was fourteen but the fact that I am learning it all now, at the age of fifty eight, is somehow miraculous. It exposes me to the intense discomfort of my utter ignorance - about bras, about my own dear self.... - but also opens me to the joys of discovery.

I bought four, and we went to the Dome bar next door to celebrate.
I don't know what I've done to deserve so amazing and kind a friend.
Or what we all have done to deserve, finally, a hopeful result.
It probably doesn't do to ask: just enough to be grateful.
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