I showed up to my polling location, which appropriately enough was American Elementary School.
I incorrectly walked through the cafeteria and heard the plight of every child ever. (Poking your straw too aggressively into your Capri Sun and thus creating a hole on the opposite side. The. Worst.)
Once I found where I was supposed to be, I was met by two tables.
Table A had three people waiting in line.
Table B had a thousand.
So naturally, I get behind the last person in line for Table A.
When I finally reach the front, I give them my info and they quickly tell me, “Oh. You’re supposed to be at Table B.”
“Of course I am.”
I turn around and see another thousand people have since joined the clusterfun that has become Table B.
So I walk to the end.
And I wait.
And then I check Twitter and Snapchat and Instagram (the usual suspects).
And then I keep waiting.
When I finally reach the front, I give them my info and they quickly tell me, “Oh. You’re a mail-in ballot.”
“Well, I didn’t mail in a ballot.”
“Do you have your ballot with you?”
“Is it at your house?”
And I think about it. I can just see it. (At least I remember seeing it. Once upon a time.) Yeah, there it is…sitting on the end table with the broken leg that I’ve been meaning to fix for over year now.
“Are you sure?”
They give me this pink envelope because now I have to fill out a “provisional ballot,” but I don’t get my ballot right away because first I have to fill out the envelope.
(I would also like to point out that there were probably six people working at Table B, but only one of them was dealing with checking people in. The others had sleepies in their eyes and Krispy Kreme krumbs on their shirts.)
So I go sit at a little table off to the side and fill out my pink envelope.
Once I am done, I am told that I will have to wait in line again.
I am able to go back to one of the other five people sitting at the table (probably just itching for something to do because apparently only one lucky soul gets the “Lamb’s Book of Voting”) and am finally given a ballot.
I make my way to one of the science boards they appear to be using as a privacy booth or whatever and I start filling out my ballot.
My hands are sweating because it was hot today and for some reason, I was nervous.
I was afraid of smearing the ink.
Finally, those names that had been haunting my streets and my inbox were now in a place where I could see them clearly for who they were.
And with my official voter ink pen, I made my decision.
And yeah, maybe Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey paid people off to get those little black dots or maybe those little black dots don’t even exist once they get placed in that locked box.
I get it. This might all be a lie.
But I would be lying if I didn’t say how cool it was to see all those ladies on the ballot.
It felt like…maybe I was getting to be a part of something. (Regardless if it’s just a teeny-tiny black dot that gets shoved in a locked box and forgotten about forever.)
So yeah…I felt proud of my little black dots (in spite of their sweat-smeared edges).
When I left, the Capri Sun kid was drinking his juice straight from the hole (straw be damned).
And I realized that we’re all going to be okay.