See you on the other side

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This is my first election night not spent in a newsroom in more than a decade.

Four or five hours into this great America tragedy, and I miss the comfort of the newsroom.

The way you felt in control of things, even though it was only an illusion. Being tied into the campaigns so tightly made you feel like you really understood them.

The hot pizza at 5 p.m. and cold at 10 p.m. And bottle of Scotch for midnight. The sense of purpose and feeling like everyone was listening, watching, reading your every word.

Election nights are intoxicating.

Tonight I’m all angst and bellyaches thinking about my children, at or approaching adulthood, and what we’re doing to them.

Thoughts I never had from the inside.

This election has taken a toll. I’ve unfriended people I once respected. I’ve largely quit using Facebook personally. I’m withdrawing to something I can’t understand.

I keep looking out my window for the death squads that might become a reality in five years.

I miss the tranquility of a bunch of jaded journalists and their abject pessimism.

Elections nights were holy, like Mass on Easter Sunday. They had an air to them that was rarified and rich with tradition. So much smoke and incense.

Tonight I’m watching a John Cusack movie trying to keep this existential angst from pushing me under. Drowning it out with wine and the occasional bout of swearing and pure, unadulterated depression.

I miss those last few hours of the night, putting the last couple of stories to bed and high fiving and heading out to a bar to celebrate or mourn, we were soldiers in a trench. We survived.

Tonight I’m among the masses with the Imperial television blaring its insidious predictions at my brain and pundits analysing shit to death.

And I’m filled with dread with no after-election beer and high five to keep me smiling into the early hours of a morning I know and understand.

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