Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Catalyst

I voted today. Got up at 6am and went a couple of blocks to the local voting station to cast my vote.

Outside, the sky was overcast and it was raining lightly, but I felt strangely clear-headed, enervated, possibly because I didn't have time to take care of my morning wood, which is what I often need to steel myself to get to work. It's just a little pick-me-up to get me through the workday. Also, I find that it makes me less likely to want to rub one out at work. But I digress.

The last time I voted was for Jon Peter Lewis in American Idol. He had me at his little trippy "A Little Less Conversation" dance. I called the toll-free number like, fifty times in one night. It's funny, I think, that more people participated in voting for American Idol than the last Presidential Election. Maybe we could use the awful American Idol outtakes as a weapon to drive the terrorists out of their hiding places.

The local Jewish temple served as our neighborhood voting location. The first time I had to vote there a couple of years ago, I felt a little trepidation going into a house of worship that is alien to me.

But the nervousness fell away as I walked through the temple doors. There were no statues or pictures of beatific figures laying prostrate, bleeding, suffering from stab wounds, dying. It was G-rated as opposed to a Catholic Church's R-rating. Just plain wood paneled walls like a country club--perfect for Bingo Night.

At 630am, the place was just starting to get crowded. I was voter number 67. I ran into a couple guys I knew from the neighborhood. We smiled wordlessly at each other. It felt good to see other people performing their civic duty—it didn't matter to me whether they are voting for my candidates or not. We were all participating in the system. People were friendly and open. I'll have to remember that this was a great way to meet guys. Bonus: there was no cover.

I am not worried about the results of the election. If George W. Bush wins, it will become the impetus for all of us to try harder to make things change.

I remember that just a few years ago, until people told us we couldn't get married, gay people would have been happy to have a less-than-equal civil union. And years before that, then President Reagan steadfastly maintained that an AIDS crisis did not exist. It will be ironic, that the efforts of right-wing extremists to encroach on my rights will be the catalyst for protecting them.

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