West Seattle On Election Night

Location: Skylark, West 5, Talarico's

Time: 6 p.m.-10 p.m.

Crowd: Depends on which bar you went to, but all very West Seattle

Mood: Drunk, Dumbfounded, Weepy with Joy

Overheard: "I'm so happy right now", the girl next to me at Talarico's with mascara streaming down her face.

We walked into Skylark on Delridge just as Obama won my home state of Pennsylvania. They CNN on the big screen by the stage and the audio was fed through the club's house system (did you Anderson Cooper has a lovely low-end tone to his voice?) THe place was jam packed, no seats anywhere. But we ordered the drink special for the night, the Stoli Blue State, just in time to hear that my wife's home state of Ohio went for Obama. What the F? Ohio? Call it the red state that finally came to its senses after 8 years of economic turmoil, high foreclosure rates, obesity, etc, etc. CNN was a snore, so the club switched channels to Comedy Central where we watched Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert announce results as they came in. The biggest mystery of the night, in my opinion, Louisiana for McCain. Did Hurricane Katrina not sour you on the Republican Party?

I was hungry, so we went to California Ave. We popped in to West 5 hoping someone had set up a TV or a radio or something. But it was only a quarter full and dead quiet, as if they were a haven for the apolitical.

Talarico's was also packed, but our timing was just right to nab two bar seats under the TV just as the polls were closing here in the West. ABC's Charles Gibson took a pause...and announced that the network could officially call Barack Obama the winner. Holy shit! I'd never seen a room of liberals this happy! The TV showed Jesse Jackson, tears streaming down his face! Oprah was crying! Hell, I damn near cried myself. We stayed long enough to watch McCain's concession speech (which, I thought, was incredibly touching and genuine) and Obama's acceptance and learn that Gregoire had won, the Right to Die passed, and so did the Parks Levy (woo-hoo!)

Out on the West Seattle main drag, walking to our car, the scene was nothing like downtown or Capitol Hill. The streets were pretty empty. But then, down the sidewalk in front of the Matador, came a bouncing longhaired liberal jumping up and down, shouting "We won! Woo! Yeah!" We hollered back at him, throwing our arms in the air!

My approach to American politics is rooted in one single rule: Be skeptical. The 2000 election marked my first chance to vote. That said, you will not find a bigger pessimist than me. But damn, last night felt good for once. I didn't know it was possible to feel good after an election. But I do have to wonder: After 8 solid years of getting together with fellow liberal friends and bitching about Bush, are we going to run out of things to talk about? Ha!

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