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.
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!