I walked to my polling place (a church) before work. In Manhattan I voted at a public school down the block; now I vote at a church across the street, both approximately the same distance from my apartment. You never get as far away from yourself in life as you think you will. I’m constantly surprised by this. Turn any corner and there’s your dumb old self, following you around.
There were more poll workers than voters, but it was also 7:30 in the morning. I couldn’t gauge the vibe: it was me and a lot of elderly, which was also the scene in NY. Apparently most people vote early these days, by mail, but I missed that memo. I like the chore of showing up, the faces, the snatches of conversation. People striking this minor chord for the future before getting on with their day. The lady who helped shove the ballot into the machine was waylaid by a chatty customer in front of me, and we both waited patiently for this woman to say her piece and move on. She wanted to have a conversation. She was out to be heard.
Anyway, no sign of the apocalypse in the outer suburbs of Chicago on this windy, rainy morning. We perform this one American duty and then we sit and wait.