I think that I may be ready to talk about it. But just a little. And all names will be changed to protect the guilty. As usual I will begin with a story.
When I used to audition for theatre a few days after auditions they would post the cast list on the door. There is nothing like the nervousness of driving there and then running to the door and frantically attempting to read the whole thing at once to find your name and then being filled with either elation or despair. The nights between auditions and cast list being posted I would never sleep because I would dream and keep replaying that long walk to the door over and over again and getting different results, first I would get the part I wanted and then the next few dreams my competitors would get the part I wanted but they always got weird– I would get the old man part or they changed the show and other such nonsense. Then I would be up the rest of the night watching infomercials. But I thought all those days were behind me now- I haven’t auditioned for shows in years and I learned that Benadryl can be taken recreationally. Wrong. I was back to having the dreams a couple of weeks before the election. One dream we’d win, the next we’d loose, the next Big Bird would win.
The four weeks leading up to the election were incredibly intense for all of us. We were working lots of hours and under stressful situations and with lots of people who were complete nutters. There was yelling, covert meetings to talk about other people’s yelling, terrible things in the news, and drama drama drama. At one point one guy and I were in a yelling match about how to pronounce the word route (root vs r-out). But there were also amazing times with late nights in a pub, taxi rides, in-office take out and a million laughs. By the evening on Polling Day I was running on caffeine and getting a little punchy and one of the guys and I ran to the opposition office around the corner and took what may be one of my favorite pictures of the campaign. We took pictures of each other as quickly as possible and then ran all the way to our office cackling like maniacs.
It really is a tacky picture. But it sums up everything I was feeling that day- such hope, such optimism, such delirious exhaustion. Then we went to the count and stood around in a gym and watched people HAND COUNT ballots until the result was read at around 5:30am. And we lost. We were supposed to win but we didn’t. The MP Who Shall Not Be Named stole our victory. And it hurt like hell. It was worse than going to that door and not even seeing my name up there at all and I wasn’t even the one running. I have a lump in my throat now just thinking about it. I want to tell you more details but I can’t because they are specific and detailed and I have to keep this story ungoogleable.
But I would do it again- every single bit. I have never been more proud of anything that I have ever done and the 5 months that I worked on the campaign have been my favorite months in London. I am still in contact with the people that I worked with and will even get to have regular lunches with one of them because ….I got a JOB!!! I am working on staff for a new MP in Westminster! Everything is all so new and no one in the whole place seems to know whether to scratch their watch or wind their butt. Things are looking up and by the time people come visit I will be able to show them around without getting lost. So I am hoping that the campaign will be a wonderful chapter that I will always remember fondly but if I see the MP Who Shall Not Be Named in the hallowed halls of Westminster, she better watch her back.