Elections in Alabama


Last night, after A’s show, we went looking for food in Soho. The dark streets were clustered with smokers in their holiday frocks: sequins and gold. Soon, we found the Slainte Bar and Tavern, an Irish joint with plenty of seats at the bar and a table of musicians playing reels and jigs in the back. We ordered Guinness stew and stout, our stomachs twisting with the anticipation of dinner, finally.

The music coming from the back of the bar seemed especially melodic because I didn’t expect it. The musicians were uninterested in any audience: they came together out of pure and unencumbered love of the music, and they played for each other and for themselves. By the time our stew arrived, I was feeling quite relaxed on my bar stool, and very cheerful.

Suddenly, a man siting next to us at the bar jumped up and did what could only be described as a victory dance.

“Sorry,” he apologized to the tourists sitting next to him. “I just saw the results in Alabama.” Though I knew that the results of the special election in Alabama were coming in, in fact I was keeping an eye on the news myself, I somehow tricked myself into thinking he was talking about a football game. Football (American) was playing on the televisions overhead, maybe that is why I suffered from this cognitive dissonance.

The man sat back down and looked around sheepishly. I think he had expected more people to jump around with him. Or maybe he was surprised by his own reaction. Half an hour later the bartender enlightened me: “The democrat won.” I felt like performing my own victory dance, which involves pumping my arms in the air while making little hops. Is this a victory for me? I am just a woman in New York, accustomed to the anxiety of living in a predative world. A slight percentage of the voters Alabama chose a political representative that does not stand for racism, sexual violence and deception. It’s a start, but I hope that there are better things that we can say about Doug Jones.

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