By - Nov 4th, 2008 02:52 pm
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Last night I had dreams of every strange breed: that I slept through the election, that I couldn’t same-day register, bombs at the polls, that I voted on a Barack Obama/Bob Dylan ticket. I woke up every hour, jittery, and had to force myself to go back to sleep. At six in the morning, by the dusky morning light and an unseasonable breeze, I pulled myself out of bed and into some decent-looking clothes to the reassuring rumblings of NPR.

A few weeks ago, I thought about voting early, but I like, sentimentally, the flush of civic excitement and public activity, the coming-alive of some sort of town square. I walked across the park through piles of fallen yellow leaves and met my friends across from the Cass Street School. I gave them apples and they handed me a big mug of just-brewed coffee, and at 6:45 am, we stood in line, which was already halfway down the block.

In 30 minutes we were inside the building amidst wall murals of inexplicably frowning sad-faced fish and funny school posters (“What about cigarettes?”). We voted in the gym. The halls were still empty, but by the time we reconvened outside the buses were arriving, and crowds of yelling children were descending upon the school, skirting the line of voters that was now snaking around the block.

While I was changing my address at the registration table, the election officiant helping me looked up from our papers and said, “Here comes big T.B.!” I turned in my chair to face the gymnasium doors and sure enough, there he was, with his one-man security detail: THE MAYOR!

It was an enchanting, hassle-free, feel-good morning (with a nice, sunny boost from the warmest election day temperatures in more than 40 years). Four years ago it was raining and I was clutching my heart with anxiety and a trenchant sense of disappointment; today, the mood has been overwhelmingly enthused, excited and perhaps preemptively celebratory.

I’ll take it. I’m glad I voted in person. I’m glad I voted. The adrenalin that surged me through this morning is thinning, but I’m still so thrilled!

Categories: VITAL

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