Mieka, the patriot
November 2, 2004. I went to an election party after eating three plates of spaghetti at Pizza Pete’s all-you-can-eat. Mieka and I milled about the party making idle conversation about how we swore to leave the country if Bush won again. I certainly found the prospect to be unnerving, but I didn’t believe anyone I talked with would actually move to Canada.
By midnight it was clear that Bush had beat Kerry. Had Kerry won, we all would have boozed in celebration; because Bush did, we drank like it was a wake.
I don’t remember how Mieka and I got back to her place but I do remember waking in the middle of the night to vomit up three plates of creamy Alfredo into Mieka’s favorite slippers. Our relationship wasn’t that strong to begin with—in fact, I think we hung out just because we preferred the pain we gave one another to the pain we would have invariably just inflicted upon ourselves. Whatever the case, puking in her slippers tipped the scales. I awoke to a note next to my side of the bed, saying to pack my things and be gone by the time she returned. Laying there, my insides rumbling, I wasn’t sure what upset me more— the election, my inability to hold my liquor, or Mieka.
Three days later I was on a beach in Venezuela, writing a postcard. I didn’t set foot on American soil for three years. Mieka always said she hated expatriates.
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