…at least I think I do.
What do I get? Why I haven’t been writing here. And why I sometimes go so many days between posts.
Sometimes I have these really interesting days. Like when I worked the election last week. And I want to write it up and be positively brilliant and clever. Thing is, if I take the time to be brilliant and clever, well, it ain’t gonna be written up. Because for me brilliant and clever, while definitely doable, aren’t off-the-cuff. My brilliance and cleverness are carefully crafted, with every word and punctuation mark precisely placed, then edited and re-worked if need be.
So I decide I can’t really continue posting until I get the day or weekend in question written out just the way I want it to appear. Which holds up the posting because most of my writing time these days is spent on my writing class or my writing group (though this last not as often as it could be) or I’m trying to think of something original for my Progressive politics meetings. Or I’m returning e-mails. And when I’m not doing that and I’m not otherwise occupied, I just want to veg because, damn it, I’m tired.
Then I feel guilty because I’m neglecting y’all, and I do think of all these interesting things about which to post, but no, I can’t possibly post until I detail those fascinating days or weekends I’m still hung up on. Which is just silly.
So. Here’s what I started to write about my election day experiences:
Interior – Bedroom:
(Scene fades up on dark bedroom, camera focused on an alarm clock, its 3″ red digital numbers glowing “4:10”. That’s 4:10 am, folks, not 4:10pm. A chiming bell sound issues from the clock and a hand flies down from off-camera right to smack the top of the clock with imprecise but accurate force. The noise shuts off and the rustle of bedclothing is heard. Soon another noise rents the air – the sound of a rather loud, annoying buzzer which repeats and repeats. The camera pans right, across the bed – past the vague dark shape of a head and a lump which may be a pillow but is, in fact, a cat – to focus on a second alarm clock, its 2″ red digital numbers glowing “4:13”. Another hand enters the scene, this time from the left. Instead of flying through the air, it fumbles for a well-worn, but still functional button and presses hard. The repeating buzzing ceases and once again the bedclothing rustles, then silence ensues.
Repeat scene at least four times, with only the clock numbers and the position of the cat changing.
Finally the hands, rather than hitting snooze buttons, drag aside the comforter and the camera pans out to show the shadowed figure of a woman slowly sit up in bed, swing her legs to the left side of the bed and shake her hanging head to try to clear it. The alarms are still blaring and she reaches over to first shut off one and then the other.
That was exciting, wasn’t it? All of that and I hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet. No wonder it was taking me so freaking long. I can continue in that vein if y’all are interested, but here’s the reader’s digest version:
I was at the polling place down the street from my home by 6am, worked as the person who gave out the blank ballots and put the marked ballots in the Sacred Ballot Box, and pushed those lovely “I Voted” stickers. I flirted, cajoled and got all Afterschool Special (“All the cool kids are wearing them.” “It’s the fashion statement of the day!”) to give out those stickers and, for the most part, I succeeded. I think because voters may not be used to someone being, not just pleasant, but freaking personable and friendly. Who wouldn’t want a sticker?
Then again, with the low turnout, I had time to be personable. I had lots and lots of time. If someone had filmed those of us at the polling place using time lapse photography (there were two precincts at the church where we were) and played it at fast forward, viewers still would have wondered why things seemed to be so slow.
In fact, there was so much extra time that two of the people at the other precinct table were performing magic for the rest of us (and any straggling voters) and one of my fellow precinct workers (a 21 year old Jewish Republican Neo-Con $cientologist video/computer geek who works in musical theatre in West Hollywood and loves it – there’s a list of of self-identifiers that boggles my mind – especially since I have serious issues with both neo-cons [sorry, Doctor Bean *mwah*] and $cientologists – boy, did this kid drink the L. Ron Hubbard KoolAid) played catch with me using a baton I made out of an empty sticker page. And later taught me how to block a punch, take down an attacker and throw a punch (he also teaches self-defense and martial arts). He was so impressed by my natural strength and my ability to immediately ground myself that he wants me to stop by where he teaches and take a few classes. I made him laugh quite a bit, so maybe it was payment for being so silly most of the day.
Then again, a long 13 hour day with little sleep, too much sugar and caffeine and not a heck of a lot to do will bring out the punchy in me. I was all business when required, but my goofy was being exceptionally goofy. Hell, at one point I actually skipped from place to place.
My other fellow precinct poll workers were interesting too. The inspector was also a Republican who was severely upset when Bush gained a second term and liked to act as Yenta, thinking that a worker from the other precinct in our polling place (one of the magicians) would be a nice guy for me to hook up with, if I were single and looking. I told her I was both, but that if he were interested he would have to come to me. I mean, he’s cute enough and amusing enough, but I’m just not in the mood to be too forward right now. And the fourth member of our team was a old-school hippie atheist with similar political stances to my own – mentioning in every other sentence that she volunteers for KPFK, yes, we get it already – but an inability to remember when talking about her politics was inappropriate. I.E. voters walk in? Stop talking. That simple. Turned out we knew some of the same people in the Progressive groups, but she’s busy with other peace and political groups during the times when I’m going to mine, so we shan’t see much of each other after all.
We did have a bit of excitement when it appeared that someone wanted to vote twice and, but under a different name and, when we asked him to fill out a provisional ballot and sign it, he absolutely refused and walked out. I later saw him as I was walking home and I think he saw me. I ducked behind a few bushes on my way back home just in case he decided to follow me to wreak vengence for not allowing him to break federal law. He didn’t try to follow me. Thank heavens.
Also an older character actor whose name I don’t know but whom I have seen many, many times on TV and in film flirted back with me when I was acting as Sticker Pusher, which was fun. He’s easily in his 70s or 80s, but just a fun guy.
So there it is. L.A. Election Day, March 8, 2005. Definitely an interesting day. I think I’m gonna do more of these elections. Because sometimes politics can be fun. Whee!