Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I sort of expected to step out into the morning and find a stream of people coming from every direction. Sort of flushing out into the streets like the first streams from a faucet. Instead it was more like a few here and there along the short walk. I’m not usually among the living out this early, so I couldnt tell this day from another, except that I knew it was special.

I walk inside at the same time as a handful of others, file in single file, third grade style. It’s humid as hell, kinda like somebody’s grandmother’s living room. Fitting, because there’s lots of old people here. I’m yawning on the inside, alert and anxious on the out. Take one look at me in my sweats and hat, my school book in one hand, cellie in the other. I’m simultaneously reading and texting and moving forward toward the finish line. At once a student of history and of this moment’s place in it. I’m living it. It's just after 7 am.

The weight of the moment seizes me, not suddenly, but gradually as it has for a while now. Each step forward is monumental. I’m starving to make a choice. I watch the girl in front of me, because this is my first time here, and she appears a veteran. I pull out my wallet, just in case. I know how they are with the trickery. What they don’t know is that I came prepared for anything. Not only is my bag stocked with snacks and water, but my wallet is flanked by about every piece of identification I own. I only pull out one, meanwhile my thumb presses against my badge. A sticker.

I take my time and survey my surroundings. Everyone is abuzz. Everyone sweating from the humidity. Everyone is friendly. A photographer snaps away, flash bulbs illuminating the scene, highlighting the occurrence. On the sly, I’m posing. I know that odd movements and gestures catch editors' eyes. I photograph pretty well in black and white. Definitely from this angle. I pause, pondering dramatically as if the choice hasn’t already been made for me.

I turn and take one last look before I leave. The line continues to swell outside the door. I did it. Finally. I got up early and it was well worth it.

I don’t usually like their coffee, but I am grateful for the freebie. Thanks Starbcuks!

Oh, and I also voted this morning.

Go Dukakis!

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