I voted last week.
I used to always wait until the day of the election to exercise the old franchise. I actually liked getting out with the crowd, visiting people in line with me, seeing all the campaign volunteers with their signs. I used to think there was nothing more American than Election Day. Not even the 4th of July. Not even the World Series.
I still feel that way. But not so much this year. Not while a sitting President tries to use the government to game the system. Which is a funny sentence to write now that I think about it. In any event, I wanted to make sure that my vote was counted the second the polls closed. Evidently lots of other folks thought that way too as early voting has reached record levels this year.
And I’m guessing that most of those early votes aren’t being cast for Donald Trump. But I’ve been wrong before. Like 4 years ago.
It wasn’t too bad. I voted at the branch library here in my neighborhood. Took maybe 20 minutes. My selection has been recorded on history’s immortal scroll. So has the Deacon’s as it turns out.
For whatever it’s worth.
I ran into an old friend the other day. I think she put it succinctly when she said “This election feels like a weight sitting on my chest. I want it removed.”
I get that. And that’s a hell of a thing. I mean I know that elections have always been hotly contested. After all as an old Tammany Hall pol advised a callow young Franklin D. Roosevelt “politics ain’t beanbag.”
No it ain’t. But just because it ain’t beanbag shouldn’t mean that politics should produce palpable existential dread. And this year’s election has. At least for those who can feel it at least.
I didn’t sense any of that amongst my fellow voters last week. Although I did seem to sense more of a feeling of seriousness although I concede that I may be projecting. I didn’t catch much of the usual chitchat that you generally hear in the voting line.
Again, maybe I’m projecting. Or maybe this is what an election during a pandemic and a recession feels like.
Or maybe the sense of dread that I’m feeling has everything with me turning 65 yesterday. My Medicare Benefit Award letter is sitting in the passenger’s seat in my car until I get that actual card. Why I feel compelled to carry the damn thing in my vehicle is unknown to me. Maybe it’s one of those goofy pre-senile things I’m going to start doing until such time as my friends and loved ones do an intervention before packing me off to the home.
I know I’m lucky to be 65 given my genetic background. And, aches and pains aside, I can still go as the brothers say. Or will again if this shoulder ever heals up.
Still 65 is a marker. My healthcare will be cheaper but I’m way closer to the columbarium than I once was. Or at least it feels like it. Hell, I could afford my old health insurance. Wish I could trade back if it would make time crawl.
But I can’t. And I can’t do a damn thing about it if Trump gets re-elected. Nothing that makes any sense at least. I don’t think my Medicare card, or the Medicare Benefit Award letter will work in New Zealand. I’m not going to liquidate my paltry investments and stick them under the mattress. I’m not going to buy a bunch of weapons.
Most likely I will continue to sit out here on the porch and mind my own goddamn business. Hopefully, I will continue to dress appropriately and refrain from yelling at kids when they cut through the yard.
I can still go. At least for now.
At least for now.