White boards strewn down labyrinth hallways, past public furniture and yellowed walls, leading me to the booths.
Disorder, excitement, faces bright and howling with pride, organizers throwing folders and papers together in great heaps, and, if you’re early enough, you can hear an oath to the electorate process take place.
Standing in line, only one, long and serpentine, careening back towards the glass doors. People are quite, sullen perhaps, or maybe just tired. It’s early, earlier than usual. The officials thumb their coffee mugs and diet Dr Pepper caps, and the one in the Star Wars shirt busies himself with pen and parchment. Not long now. The early ones will leave soon, and then others will come.
You’d like to think that those in line prayed this morning for guidance, but it’s doubtful that’s true.
No one is talking about it. You find this odd. What’s the taboo? Or is it fear of some hypothetical crazed retribution by a gun and a man? Maybe this is just how it works. You’ve never done this before, and the vision you had of public discourse, especially at the present time, is probably antiquated by fifty-years or so. An official says “We’ve never had a line like this before. It’s wonderful.” You hope it is.
It’s 6:30a.m., and you’re the first one up. There is some confusion as to which booth people of your street go to. Your nerved spine jangles; “please don’t complicate” you think. But, it’s cleared up and you make way to the booth.
Names on paper.
I pray, asking only for God’s will to be done.
I fill in all the bubbles, but I only know three of the names. You others, well, happy day for you if your bubble was on the top of the section.
It’s done. You feed the paper into what looks like a shredder, but are assured is not.
“Can I get my sticker, please?”
Of course you can get your sticker. Don was a good boy today!
Now you sit in your car staring at the pink sunset creating the horizon.
Don was a good boy today.