Insomnia is a serious inconvenience. I thought that I would clean my house with all the extra hours that I have to work with but everyone is asleep here at the old Park Ave Apts and how do you clean without rocking out? When we were kids, my brother and I would slow as we approached our house coming home from school, Bruce Springsteen evident from a block away. Oh dear, Mama's cleaning.....
My neighbor sets his alarm for 5:AM every morning and I just heard it go off. Boy is he going to be pissed when he realizes it's daylight savings time again! Of course, it's also Sunday. The whole thing seems off, but it's comforting to me. Someone else is alive! Yes! He is hitting the snooze button! Ha-Ha! Maybe he is a spy. If he is he has a very good cover. He has a wonky eye and whenever I see him he's joyfully drunk, his steps as rolley and unpredictable as his vision, but his smile is sure.
I went and voted on Halloween. Early voting on Halloween is super fun. Batman voted, and Darth Vadar. Do you suppose Vadar voted for McCain because he is aligned with the dark side, or did he vote Obama because he is black?
The lovely T-Bone was the one who suggested we go vote. We work together and had spent a fine morning at the restaurant wearing the fake mustaches that I brought for the staff. Each mustache was different and had a name. Mine was "The Rogue", our chef sported "The Scoundrel". Our fey and stylish gay waiter chose "The Party Boy". Neither T-Bone nor I can remember the title of hers, but it could have been called "The Paisano" because combined with her dark hair and red bandanna it made her resemble a disgruntled pizza cook. I wanted to make her perform for me. "Sharpen your knife and look mean!" God, it was so good.
At first we thought we might wear the mustaches to vote, the upside being that it might enable us to commit voter fraud by voting again ("Hey! Didn't you just vote?" "Oh no, those girls had mustaches!") but we had already exhausted the adhesive and went sans disguise. (If you are planning to commit voter fraud I suggest you do not buy your disguise at a place called The Festivity Factory.)
The line was long but we were motivated. First we had to stand in the line that led to the line that led to the courthouse. I thought there might be snacks and mimes, maybe for entertainment purposes, but T-Bone thought not so we came prepared with drinks, baby carrots, and cigarettes.
We spent the hour and fifteen minutes talking about the people we know, the people we used to know, who's in jail, who should be in jail, all the drugs we used to do, and who's doing the drugs now. The people around us were silent in that very pointed way that people have when they are listening very hard. Perhaps we were the entertainment. We should've worn the mustaches! We would've been so much more amusing, not to mention more anonymous. ("Hey, I heard you were gossiping about me in line to early vote at the courthouse." "Oh no, I heard those girls had mustaches.")
We were a little worried that they would search our purses once we got in. T-Bone had a knife, and I had a little wad of something suspicious looking wrapped in plastic wrap (it was a mustache, I swear) but that fear turned out to be unfounded. What we did find at the end of the line was an especially tall handsome man in a floral button down shirt. His job was to stop us from madly rushing the polling booths before they could take our information. I told him that I liked his shirt, that it was very handsome, coyly cutting my eyes away. He said that when he put it on that morning he said to himself, "Yep, nobody's gonna miss Mr. Tim today". T-Bone pointed out that it was helpful that he was also so tall. When it was my turn at the booth, Mr. Tim thanked T-Bone for coming out to vote. She told him that we were excited to vote, that we were excited to be making history, and he smiled and thanked her again, and they had a moment.
The voting? My heart did swell. I checked and double checked to make sure that I did, in fact, vote for Obama and against the We Hate Gays proposition. I knew I did, but there was a paranoid part of me that somehow I'd filled in the wrong circles. It's like that feeling that you might just spasmodically drive into a building some day, you know you won't, why would you? But you think somehow you might. By accident. Like maybe you lost your mind for a minute.
When I walked out of the courthouse, into the dusk of Halloween, I felt strong and hopeful and exhilarated. Me! I voted! The trees glowed bright. Everyone was smiling. Children played.
As we walked back to the car we talked about what we had done, how we felt, and what it meant. I said, "Mr. Tim, do you want my phone number? I vote YES!" and we decided that we needed to use that pick-up line before the end of the election.
Last year on Halloween I wore a flower in my hair and sprayed myself with body glitter and went to a party and did jello shots. This year I wore a fake mustache and laughed more than I have in a long time and voted in a historical election with one of my best friends. Ah there is hope for us yet, ah there is hope and laughter and hope again.