At nine o’clock everything looked good, everything felt fine. Champagne on ice was popped and replenished. The hours dragged on and the numbers dribbled in, drip, drip, Minnesota, drip, drip, Tennessee, he felt the energy in the room turn dark, sour.
He opened the balcony doors, it was freezing out there. They shouted at him to close the doors and he did, but only very slowly. Fuck them.
It’s was still barely eleven o’clock, then midnight, then one a.m.
By 3:00 a.m. it was only him, his wife, Sofia and his daughter Minka, who were both asleep. Minka was sprawled half off the gold damask ottoman, her legs askew, one shoe hanging by a heel. She looked all at once like a tired, foreign whore, the kind of woman you buy by the dozen and they’re grateful to have it, whatever it is. He felt uncomfortable looking at her, at the darkness on her shadowed thigh.
He dumped himself on the adjacent couch, shoving Sofia’s legs onto the floor so he had room enough to get comfortable while he looked from monitor to monitor, all of which showed the same thing, sometimes from the same camera angle, sometimes by the same people.
Sofia sat up, wiped her eyes and looked at him malevolently, her dark eyes swollen with sleep and glassy with resentment.
“What are you going? What time is it?” She asked. “Why are you still looking? You lost!”
All he wanted to do was to punch her square in her soon-to-be-sagging face. He turned to look at her and she immediately moved over and started to rub his neck.
“I’m sorry, my baby. I’m just mad you woke me up.” She started to give him little kisses on his neck. “You know how grumpy I am when I get woken up.” She made the little baby face pout he loved and she felt his tension ease.
He went back to looking at the monitors and she grabbed a throw, cuddled uncomfortably back into the corner of the couch and was immediately asleep. He looked at her with envy. He wished that he could sleep but he had never in his life felt further from it, even when he snorted bumps of cocaine at the parties.
Fuck these parties. Why didn’t they get the vote done? How hard could it have been? How much money had he raised and for everyone and what did it buy him?
Ohio wasn’t looking good.
Arizona was downright fixed somehow.
That’s what it was. Oh, man.
The night grinded on but at least now he had a plan. He knew how to do it. He was fully awake and felt stronger than he had in years and morning couldn’t come soon enough.