November 4, 2004
There were two girls talking about you on the train today. They weren't a day over nine or ten, and had those high, piercing voices that launch themselves up over any other noise so that you're forced to listen to what they have to say, whether you like it or not. Today, like I said, they were talking about you.
"That George Bush should be happy that Barak Obama wasn't runnin' for president," the smaller one--she was probably closer to eight--said, while braiding and unbraiding one side of her hair. Her feet dangled off the side of the seat, absentmindedly brushing against a briefcase someone had set down next to her. "Because if Barak Obama had been running for President, he'da kicked George Bush's ass."
"Yeah, when I get old, I wanna run for president too, but I hope Obama doesn't run, 'cause he'd kick my ass too!" the other answered.
And I wanted to turn around and nod in their direction and say, Yeah, I know what you mean, but in just the few seconds it took to even think that, their conversation had meandered--the way the conversations of the very young and very bored do--from you, to discussing which was better: orange soda or Coke. Since it seemed like they were both coming down on the side of Coke, I realized that our brief moment of agreement had passed, and I though better than to be that creepy guy that talks to little girls on the train.
But this is how it's been for the last two days, Mr. Bush: you walk down the aisle of the grocery store, or drive down the street and peer into the car next to you, or overhear converations on the train, and you try and build little coalitions--little unions of like-mindedness--in the hopes that somehow you may not feel as marginalized as every newspaper you walk by makes you feel.
And so, Mr. Bush, I feel it's only fair that you know that tonight the coalition of the train riding tweens and the almost 30-year-old adjunct facultymembers declared the following: Barak Obama would kick your ass.
Talk to you tomorrow,