I have been invited to attend the birth of Barack and Michelle's child in a beautiful landscaped park. Once it's confirmed that Michelle's contractions are five minutes apart, she is slowly driven away in a convertible to a more secluded location with Barack walking alongside the car. He is wearing a brown leather jacket with the collar turned up like James Dean, and as I see him follow the car I think how much fun with the baby he'll miss out on due to the demands of the Presidential campaign.
28 April 2008
I'm staying at the Obama residence with Barack and his wife. The guest spot on the floor is uncomfortable, so I get into bed with the happy couple. Michelle is sandwiched the middle. Barack has his arm around his wife, but he's stroking my ear the way a lover might.
I am rowing in a kayak on a cloudy day. I feel tired, humiliated and discouraged. The other rowers can't believe how bad I am. In a moment alone, my trainer, Barack Obama, approaches me in his grey-blue track suit, puts one of his sneakers on my kayak and his hand on my shoulder. He gives me a good pep talk about determination and not backing down. He also says, You shouldn't even be this tired, and gives me proper rowing techniques. Then I feel better. Even if I am going to lose that day, I at least have the sense that I had tried my best.
26 April 2008
I'm going to visit my father at work in Washington D.C. I am waiting in a particularly long line at a Metro station when I get to the front, and who should be there but Barack Obama! The metro turns out to be not a metro at all -- it's a large, high-speed roller coaster! Me and Barack strap into a dangling car and get ready to go! We also apparently know each other, which I don't find odd.
We make some brief conversation and I tell him that I am a supporter of his and he thanks me. He is really nice. We continue to ride the roller coaster and when the ride ends, we say good-bye and wave. He might as well have been a friend of mine.
I was at a planning meeting with Barack and his handlers. They were talking about a televised town hall program they were going to participate in that night.
I decided to fly up to the ceiling to see what Barack's reaction would be. He kept talking with his handlers and pretty much ignored the fact that I was hovering over him. They were growing more animated as they discussed a woman who was going to be in the audience. She had contributed a lot of money to the campaign and Barack wanted to be able to answer her questions during the show, but he needed a way to identify her. Someone suggested they paint her face bright red. I thought that was too obvious and suggested they just paint a red X on her neck. They liked that idea.
Though I'm a Hillary supporter, I woke up feeling a bit more positive towards Barack.
Barack and I were walking around this dangerous neighborhood at night. There were no people around, just angry rabid dogs. I kept turning down the wrong street and the dogs would come out of nowhere and start chasing me. Barack would grab my hand and make me run the other way so we could escape them. The dream went on and on like this. I kept turning down the same alley and facing the same dogs and Barack kept pulling me to safety.
I had this dream the night Hillary won Pennyslvaia.
I was driving along and looked up and saw Obama’s plane flying through the sky. He was on his way to another rally after the Pennsylvania primaries.
Suddenly, the plane began lurching about and flying haphazardly. I sensed with dread what was going to happen next: the plane plunged from the sky and crashed in a big fiery explosion.
Everyone was very emotional and heartbroken. People were devastated and weeping in the streets. It was as if all of our hopes and dreams for this country had crashed and burned with the plane.
I saw news cameramen clambering over each other to film Obama’s broken body that had been recovered from the crash. I was disgusted with their voyeurism and ruthlessness.
24 April 2008
Just before waking, I have this dream: I was in a town on the Hudson River which has a view south towards New York City. Walking through the town's hilly streets, I catch glimpses of Obama walking by, usually no more than a block away. He's wearing a riotously colorful jacket, a sort of deconstructed plaid.
The streets are empty, like early morning when the commuters all troop down to the train. His expression is intense and thoughtful, with a small smile, as if he's composing a speech in his head as he walks, or listening to something only he can hear. He leans forward as he walks.
On the overlook above the river, there is a outdoor setup of a news crew -- maybe ABC -- and they are interviewing Michelle Obama. She looks like that awful picture of her on the cover of the National Review. Someone else is standing off to the side, waiting his turn. He's wearing a mudcloth skullcap.
I don't see anyone else in the town, but I walk by an office and hear two women who look like they are from the Caribbean discussing the election. They seem to be in good humor.
23 April 2008
I was in an office where I had worked as a temp. The space was almost Japanese, with large, simple black leather furniture. It was now the headquarters of Barack's campaign in Boston.
I was explaining to my friends that when I worked here, I kept a bottle of Bailey's on the bottom shelf behind the desk. My friend Jay came to sit on me, but I moved out of the way. Then to my surprise, Barack entered the office.
He greeted Jay like a good friend, then proceeded to comically sit on Jay, squashing him. I was pretty glad I wasn't at the bottom of that pile. It was very impressive how close a friend Barack Obama was to Jay.
21 April 2008
I'm watching The Today Show (and do not find anything odd about this for some reason). A breaking news graphic springs to life on the screen, and I see a shot of a very dirty toilet. The voice-over says that it's Barack's dirty toilet. What they're implying is: Do we really want a man who doesn't keep his toilet clean running the country?
Barack replies. He's like, Seriously?
18 April 2008
I'm at summer camp with my husband's family and one of the evening's activities is a Purim party. Campers are randomly selected to play parts in a reenactment of the Purim story, and Barack is chosen to play Haman. Everyone at the camp (mostly Barack supporters, apparently) is disappointed that Barack, clearly a hero in real life, is to play the villain in the skit, but he's a good sport, and we are all impressed with his acting skills.
16 April 2008
I'm on a small, propeller-type old-fashioned airplane. I am helping the other passengers stow their luggage and things in the overhead bins, although I am not a flight attendant, just a helpful fellow passenger. Barack appears behind me, patting me on the shoulder and saying positive, encouraging things to suggest I am doing a good job. I feel his tone is patronizing, since I am obviously not an airline employee.
15 April 2008
It has been on the news for a few days that Barack is having stomach problems. I decide he needs some peanut butter cookies and set about baking a batch. Then I find myself in a bakery. The walls are lined with Tupperware containers of cookies and Barack is there with this girl I know from somewhere. He is eating her cookies and says politely that mine are not the right consistency. Then the two of them leave together.
I wake up with a new fund raising idea for the Obama campaign in my head: an iPhone-Obama collaboration where every time you hit the snooze button on your iPhone alarm clock, you automatically donate a dollar to his campaign.
I am in the back of a helicopter with Barack, flying over the the waters of Cape Town. After a pleasant conversation, he slides open the door and I leap into the air. As I fall, I began to see the dark grey outlines of sharks swimming in the waters below. I am being dropped far from shore and I know I'll have to swim a long way back. More and more shadows appear and I splash down into the waters with the full knowledge that there are sharks everywhere around me. I am terrified. I tell myself it's only a dream.
Barack and I are dating and it's pretty serious. He wants to get married but I tell him I won't unless he passes two particular bills. They are awesome; the equivalent of universal health care and free college education for everyone.
We find ourselves at a big party. (I'm pretty sure it's the same place Roslin announced that Baltar had won the vice-presidency in Battlestar Galactica.) Barack takes the stage. He makes an announcement that he will introduce the two bills to Congress.
Watching him, I know that, in some way, he's doing it for me.
12 April 2008
Barack, Michelle, my husband, our daughter and I all went to the mall together. We walked through the racks at Macy's looking at clothes. Michelle spent the time entertaining my daughter by pretending to try on silly shirts she found. Barack was holding forth on how Macy's was a symbol of the American experience in the 21st century. I had trouble hearing him because my daughter kept laughing and distracting me.
We all walked together to the food court where we sat down and discussed the American experience some more over bad mall food. I tried to make some joke about how unsavory the American experience must be if it tasted like what we were eating, but I was nervous and the joke didn't go over too well. Barack leaned in and said, Well, my middle name isn't 'Middleman' is it.
What? I asked.
My middle name isn't 'Middleman' is it? he repeated, as if expecting me to laugh.
I wasn't sure if I'd heard him right, but I thought he might be making a joke about how his life was much more international than this suburban shopping mall. I started to laugh tentatively, glancing at Michelle to see if I was correct in thinking he had made a joke. She was already laughing.
Ok, so I'm not the best joke teller. I hope that doesn't ruin your image of me, he said.
It didn't. Actually, I thought it was both endearing and funny.
Barack and I were hanging out with a security guard in a building in DC. He leaned in and whispered to me that he had been in love with me since we'd been in grade school together. He started singing Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You, but really quiet because he didn't want anyone to hear, and because of Michelle.
10 April 2008
I'm at Barack's inauguration. There's a representative speaking at the podium introducing him, when suddenly there is shouting and I see a group of people wearing the white hoods of the Ku Klux Klan. There's a lot of commotion and they're yelling and causing a disturbance, which actually turns out to be a diversion, because I see someone rush the podium and shoot the person who was speaking, then start heading for Barack. There is a total absence of secret service and security, and my heart starts racing as I fear they're going to make it to Barack.
I am on my back on a bed in a Motel 6, fully clothed; Michelle Obama is straddling me and holding my arms over my head. This is not sexual. Michelle does not look like herself -- she actually resembles one of my colleagues, an African-American woman about her age. I cannot figure out why Michelle feels she has to hold me down -- it seems there has been some misunderstanding.
Barack is about to address an audience in the motel room, but I can't see him or the crowd. His speech goes very well. Afterward, Michelle lets me get up, then she and Barack and I have a conversation about race in America. We agree about almost everything and have a lot of esteem for one another.
07 April 2008
I was at a Barack Obama rally on the steps of Congress in Washington, D.C. Barack announced that he wanted to change his middle name to be more patriotic and show his commitment to being a true American. He said from that day forward, his middle name would no longer be Hussein -- it would be Congress: Barack Congress Obama.
I was walking a large dog on a leash when Barack approached with small dog on a leash. In order to let them pass, I let go of the leash of the big dog. The dog ran off and I felt guilty. Later, I spoke with my husband to tell him that I once again let go of the dog's leash to let Barack and his dog go by. My husband insisted that I be firm and hold my ground while letting them pass.
06 April 2008
04 April 2008
I went to see a Rufus Wainwright concert with some friends in an abandoned building. We climbed up a green ladder into the balcony. Sitting sulkily in the corner was John Travolta, and in the row behind me was Barack. Rufus, looking chubbier than usual, said he wanted everyone to come down and take a group picture with him. Barack tapped me on the shoulder and said he didn't want to go down because it would make a scene, so would I please take a picture for him? I said, Sure, Barack Obama, and he handed me a disposable camera.
I was on a train with a group of friends riding through some indefinite European country. We were drinking beer from large cans and playing cards. Obama was on the train with an entourage doing press of some sort. He wasn’t wearing a jacket -- it was a casual look. He came by and talked with us for a while, asking us where we were headed. I was confused and couldn’t remember where exactly we were going. I was very nervous because I didn’t want to be on camera with him.
I have lots of dreams about riding on trains, though usually I’m alone. Not being sure where I’m headed is a common theme, which is sorta depressingly easily to psychoanalyze.
Barack shakes our hands and exchanges pleasantries with us. He is very cordial and interested in what my boy has to say. We go to leave to meet my wife and Barack thanks us for our time and we part ways. I feel very privileged to meet him. He leaves the impression that the honor was his.
02 April 2008
Barack was teaching a seminar outdoors next to a castle arched over a river like the Chenonceau in France. When I arrived at the riverbank, I found friends from high school and college wearing bedsheets wrapped around their bodies, standing waist-deep in the river in tight formation. They lowered themselves into the water in unison and emerged without looking at each other or speaking a word. As they did this over and over, I sat on a wall by the riverbank next to Barack and apologized for being late. I asked if I should get in, too. I didn't want him to know that I had no idea what this demonstration was about.
He told me not to worry about it and took out a book to read.
Barack was scheduled to give a speech while sitting on my bed -- but it was really a bed in the home of my Republican in-laws.
He sat near my pillow while I watched from the other side of the room. There were many people there, filling the house, including a reporter I kept trying to distract so she wouldn't discover my in-laws' political leanings.
Just before the speech was to start, Barack noticed something on his wife's shoe. She was standing at the foot of the bed. He picked it up and it was a bank receipt. It showed -1000 and it turned out that she had overdrawn a campaign fund.
He was starting to get angry when I woke up.
01 April 2008
I was back in college along with my two younger brothers and my now-deceased mother. I kept running into Barack Obama. He'd stop and hassle me for not being politically active enough. He kept saying that he knew my dad and he'd be very disappointed with me for not doing enough. I would slip away and get involved in the college drama (like not having done any of the problem sets before a big math exam) but then I would again run into Barack who would hassle me for my lack of activism.
I was at a Barack rally and since I arrived early, I was sitting on the stage talking to Barack. He was trying to convince me, in a subtle and kind way, that I should vote -- not just for him, but in general. People began to fill the room, and I sat on a chair toward the back of the stage.
I found his speech compelling and invigorating. I knew that he was the president we needed. He was full of compassion and insight. When he finished, most people began filing out, but some milled around like teenagers at a concert, waiting, hoping for a moment with their favorite musician.
Barack stepped off the stage and greeted them, spending a few moments with each. Then he returned to me and we picked up our conversation from where we had left off -- discussing Will Truman from the TV show Will & Grace.
I woke feeling like I should vote for Barack Obama, or at least think about registering.
I was sitting in my high school classroom back in the Ukraine. It was well lit. Barack Obama was sitting near the back, by the window. He was wearing a big white turban. He was calm and was singing. The song, the sound, the music he was making was unbelievably beautiful. It was so beautiful that everyone was silently listening to him. The music was so touchy I almost couldn't take it. It was ancient language and sounded like a gospel. I never had such experience from listening to music. It was a pure catharsis.
I was at Barack's house preparing a party for him and his supporters. It was a huge atrium-like modern space with thirty-foot ceilings and a balcony running along the sides.
Instead of setting up, my friend and I decided to look inside the closets and drawers at all of Michelle's legendary couture clothing. We pulled out all these Gucci, Prada and Valentino dresses. One drawer was entirely filled with beautiful gloves. Unfortunately, people starting arriving and we had to stuff all the clothes back into the drawers and closets.
All throughout the party I kept worrying because I knew that she would know we had been through her closets and drawers.
Barack and I had a dinner date where I was too shy to ask him the pressing political questions that were on my mind. I could only think to ask the well-worn question, Where did the expression, "Audacity of Hope" come from?
From de Tocqueville, he said, and gave me two volumes to read.
After dinner, propped up against the counter, he couldn't stop gazing into my eyes. The inevitable, delicious kiss followed. I thought of how I had to consider Michelle and not let it go any farther than that, but then he admitted he had something he wanted to show me. He then took off his clothes and placed me on his lap. Under my female genitalia he arranged to show his own, and they looked a lot like mine. I touched them to be sure, and they felt a lot like mine. I reached under them to see if he had male genitalia and asked him softly, Do you have a penis, also?
He said, No.
I was touched that he felt comfortable enough to share that with me, and didn't feel he was any less masculine for his female genitalia.
Barack came to our town to hold a rally in a small room in a wooden house. He stayed a long time and there were many side events. His handlers kept failing to show up to whisk him away, but he took it all with with good humor, enjoying his interaction with ordinary folks.
At one point, we all rushed out to a local furniture store to see the two gold sofas Barack had just purchased. He said he had been looking everywhere for sofas that were really gold -- not yellow or orange. We were proud he had found them in our humble town.
I was taking a cooking class from Barack Obama. Every Monday evening he showed up to teach us cooking, even though he was still immersed in the presidential campaign. As he came in to the classroom, he looked very calm and started talking about today's lesson.
He said that today we would be cooking seafood, and that it was important that the food be fresh. So we all went out on a boat and traveled along a rocky shore. It was already night and we went into a cave. After a while, the crew told him we were there, and Barack started telling us what we were going to catch.
All along, I was so touched that he would take time out from his campaign just for the twelve of us, but it seemed very important to him. I got the sense that this break from campaigning was important to him, and I wondered where he had been earlier that day.
My boss wanted to hire this anarchist with a loud personality and tattoos on her throat. She seemed feral to me, and I had doubts about how well she would fit into our office culture. My boss and I went to her apartment, which was a mess. Dozens of people lived there. There were two coat racks, which were destabilized by the weight of many winter coats. The anarchist was very confessional and soon told us that she was Barack's niece.
Then we were on the campaign trail. It was literally a trail: a wide, dusty, Old Western trail. Barack asked my college best friend and I to go into a hotel bedroom. Then he asked us if we would have sex with him. He was polite and reserved, and when we said no, he seemed neither disappointed nor surprised. I did kiss him, and it felt solid.
Once we were back on the trail, I felt suddenly charged with a mission. I argued that it was important that no one find out that Barack's niece is unhinged and living in an urban commune. I said that if the press got hold of a photo of her moldy and filthy bathroom, it would mean big trouble for Barack. Plus, I said, I heard that she was planning on installing a gun holster in her shower curtain.