I couldn’t tell in what nearby backyard my neighbors were singing: “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye.”
But I could hear the song clearly and their jubilation, singing to the end of America’s dank nightmare of incompetence, cruelty, and cluelessness. I could hear the smiles through the voices.
Was the song coming from the Guyanese family diagonally behind us, or the Black family two doors away, or the Dominican family right next door?
I didn’t care.
It was coming from America, and it was beautiful.
On the night Barack Obama was elected, our son Zak joined a spontaneous parade across his then-home city of Washington, DC. In their thousands, strangers stood together outside the White House and sang to George Bush: “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye.”
I asked Zak today, “Is that New Orleans?” when he got back from buying champagne and showed me joyous video of a street parade on his phone: drums and brass instruments in Second Line glee from the back of a pickup truck.
He said, “No, it’s in DC” – another song of joy at the eviction of evil.
And it was beautiful.