I am with a bunch of old ladies at a writer's conference in Saratoga Springs (me and my bright ideas) and all I can think about is Louie. I met Louie just before I pulled out of New York City on Sunday.
Louie, who leaned over to me at the Hess station on Metro and Bushwick, grabbed my hands, called me Mammi, and told me he was voting for McCain.
I was putting 10w-40 and gas in the car.
I said, "Oh, Louie, no!" Glancing at his New York plates, relaxing into the fact that it actually doesn't matter who Louie votes for, but none the less. Here was my nightmare AND mind you, the thing I said couldn't possibly happen- I refused to believe would happen. Who was going to swing from Hillary to McCain? Who would be so extreme? Obama to McCain I always understood, there was an appeal Obama was making to *those* guys; I got those people; I think I dated one once.
Why would we do this to ourselves? We are so close. Eyes on the god- damned road people!
But Louie held fast to my oil slicked hands and said "Mami, I don't like Muslims."
Had I not had to get on the road as soon as I closed my hood I probably would have passed out, right then and there.
I actually met and was holding hands with a man who believed the crazy republican propaganda in WILLIAMSBURG BROOKLYN. (watch out Melissa your naivete is showing.) My 'hood. 25 feet from my house.
"Louie, babe, it's propaganda," I tried "It's not true. What's with the church?"
Louie then let me know that he watched Obama sworn in NOT on a Bible. To Louie's credit he did not say a Koran.
But he believed that Hilary would have "kept us safe" but that Obama is what? Gonna get us?
The whole thing was as disturbing as the almost- $5- a- gallon sticker price for the gas I was buying.
40 dollars later, I drove away.
It was the best that I could do.
I had recently learned the three "L's"to employ whenever you are talking to any extremist or to anyone whose mind you cannot change.
First You Listen
then You Love
and then You Leave.