By Benjamin James
I woke up with the anticipation to participate in my very first primary. Excitement filled my soul as I gazed at the gray skies that ensued a gloomy winter day. I threw on my sweater, I put on my shoes, and I walked outside. The polls were only a block away so I decided to walk. The streets were silent. I walked and walked and said my "Hellos" to the neighbors as I strolled passed them.
"Going to vote?" a creepy bearded man asked me as he was about to start his car, probably to go to work or pick up his children or to go do something creepy bearded men do in which I don't want to know about.
"Yep!" I exclaimed with probably an equally creepy excitement. "You?"
"No. I don?t vote. It don't matter who you vote for, they are all the same."
"Yeah I know." I responded. "I do it for the sticker they give you afterwards." I thought of the apathy we all feel sometime when we feel we aren't given a choice, especially in a small southwestern suburb of Chicago. The gloom of this suburb, the isolation from the excitement of the City.
"Well, see you around." he said.
"See you." I said.
The polling place was in my sight, it illuminated. Cars parked, people outside smoking, and fat little children playing outside waiting for the parents participating in a five minute democracy. It was really just a little neighborhood center with a swimming pool, nothing too significant. I'd much rather vote in another place where at least I could feel like I was participating in something much bigger, but as I walked in, there were no lines, and the only people in there were volunteers, and they were all old. Not that I have anything against old people but I would feel much more secure if there were some younger people there, maybe I should do something about that, eh, whatever.",
"Here to vote?" a lady asked me.
"Yes!" I said.
Am I here to vote? What an odd question. Of course I was, what else would I be doing on the rather gloomy day?
"Just follow me."
I followed her up the stairs to a table of aristocrats, three fat old folks and one had a cane. They had me fill out the proper paper work and I was all set. I walked into the voting booth. It was an encasement, my only friends were a pen and a piece of paper with names of which most of them were strangers. I panicked. I could feel my brow accumulate sweat and my hands were shaking. Could I change ballots? No! Of Course not, this was it. My final chance. What to do? I thought of running out of the place in a screaming panic and then I thought of what a fool I would look like if I did such a thing. I guess I could just vote and get it over with but knowing me, things aren't that easy. I thought for a minute and I took deep breathes. I'm calmed. I filled in the circles. It was all over.
I walked outside refreshed. The cold air ran through my lungs and the fat little children were still playing. A lady outside smoking asked me, "How did it go?"
"Fine." I said.
I walked down the same block I saw the creepy bearded man about to start his car. I was surprised to still see him there. I guess it was only about five minutes but it felt longer.
"How did it go?" he asked me.
"Fine." I said.
I walked home.
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