I was given an opportunity to partake in the decisions that affect me. To have my opinion expressed. A platform for my voice to be heard. Albeit silently. And not actually heard in the literal sense, but more so counted by a powerfully marked X on a special ballot. More on this later.
Whether it was to speak out against something. Or to stand for something. This was my chance. My one shot. My one opportunity.
I strode purposefully to the polling station that was, to my convenience, just a mere 3 minute and 8 mile walk away. The path was clearly delineated with visible signs denoting “Vote Here”. So far so good. There was no threat of violence. No political mob to influence my thoughts or beliefs on the way. I wasn’t, unlike many places in the world, coerced in any way. The good fortunes to have free, unfettered choice to participate in democracy.
I do not take this privilege lightly.
There was, however, a mob of school children who, as it just so happened were all going to school inside the polling station, which also happened to be a school, and also all had a staring problem.
Which was quickly resolved with me asking them just that: “Do you have a staring problem?”
After that first challenge was attended to, the next issue arose.
Stairs. So many fucking stairs.
As I entered the polling station, the signage now clearly pointed up the stairs. Well, I use the term loosely as these were not ordinary stairs but the abomination child that would be birthed from the intermixing of Mount Everest’s step cousin and K2’s youngest uncle, twice removed. As I peered up, all I could see was mist and clouds. There was no end in sight.
I was at a crossroads.
I could turn around and stick to flat ground, eschewing my civic duty but avoiding the searing knife-like clawing DOMS* I was sure to feel in my quads post leg day. Thus giving up my right to bitch and complain about anything, if my candidate didn’t succeed.
Or I could soldier on and have this story to tell. To share with you. To lionize myself as he who would overcame the DOMS to ascend to democratic Nirvana.
You already know what I chose. I chose stairs. So many stairs. And I did it.
Upon ascension, I was guided through such a simple, straightforward process with people who cared about the voting process. They vetted me. Made sure I was who I claimed to be. And handed me my voting card. I placed my X carefully in the circle and as the machine quietly acknowledge my ballot, I let out a small sigh, and said simply “yeah, jeets.”
And I was done.
*DOMS: delayed onset muscle soreness
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