It’s going to be alright

Borja Sotomayor
2 min readNov 9, 2016

It’s November 9th, the day after the election. Today is the day we have to get used to saying President-elect Trump and, soon enough, President Trump.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I had to take Ambien (which I only take for jetlag) to be able to fall asleep. I wake up feeling wired and stressed, but determined to make it through the day. Class at 10:30 and 11:30, office hours from 1:30 to 3:30. The show must go on, I tell myself. Maybe getting back to my routine will soothe the pain, even if only for a bit.

I get to campus about 20 minutes before my first class, which is fine since I already had all my notes ready for today. What was not fine was that my work laptop, which I usually keep in my office, decided to stop working (it did boot up, but it looked like the screen did not work).

I tried rebooting it multiple times to no avail, and started to go into panic mode, just short of having an actual panic attack. I dug up an old laptop and tried to set up my software environment there, and it turned out the version of Ubuntu it was running was too old.

I was already completely frazzled from last night, and this is the last thing I need. I send a message to my 10:30 class letting them know I was probably going to be late while I sorted out the laptop situation.

I frantically run through various contingency plans, and decide I should just run home (I live 5 minutes away from campus), grab my personal laptop, and use that. I am about to head out the door when I suddenly freeze. I can’t describe it, but it’s like something inside me refuses to let this happen.

I turn around. I grab my laptop and smack it in a truly Han Solo-esque way.

And it starts working.

And for the first time since last night, I feel like thing are going to be alright. Maybe not now, maybe we’ll have to fight more than we expected, and maybe things will get really bad for a while.

But, in the end, I have to believe it’s going to be alright.



Borja Sotomayor

I am a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Chicago. I write short pieces of fiction for fun. Sometimes I write about serious things too.