to the casual human sprinkler tossing sweat, snot and spit on everything within a ear-shot of her clomping stride, it probably looks like i'm watching baseball. not-so, oh-porous-vessel-of-bodily-fluid. i've learned the hard way that i can't watch people run bases while i'm running on treadmill. i lose track of which foot i'm on and tend to try to match joe mauer's stride. i end up dizzy and hanging on the handrails, the dance of a woman who has gotten tangled in a dog leash. without the dog. without the leash. no, i'm looking through the tv, watching my own reflection. i swear i can see myself getting faster. it's a good show.
as i neared the community center near my old apartment, i remembered that today was a day for voting and ditched into the parking lot, narrowly avoiding a collision with a bingo-ink stained snowbabies collector and her limping paramour, whose shirt looked like he'd used it as a coffee filter.
i was home. i hurried inside and inhaled deeply: ah, yes. campbells chicken and stars and band aids.
i love voting.
an election judge championing an applique wolf scene across her f-cups took my last name, referred to me as "christina" and said: are you still living at blah blah blah, apartment 2?
no? i asked.
oh ... she frowned.
i just moved, i said. like literally just moved.
like a few days ago? she asked.
well ... more like ... within the month, i lied.
oh ... she frowned.
here another election judge chimed in. i could tell she was the higher-paid volunteer because she was sitting on a stool, meaning the other minions had to peer up at her over the top of their trifocals for the final word.
"no way," was judge judy's verdict.
"against the law," the wolf whisperer responded adamantly.
another woman chimed in asking for proof of my new address:
id? she asked.
nooo ... i said slowly. in fact, my id is three addresses old, but i can't part with it because it lists a weight i prefer.
utility bill? she asked.
well, i moved into my boyfriend's place, i explained. the bills were already in his name. what about a new yorker subscription?
they shook their heads in unison, neck folds rippling like old glory outside of perkins.
could your boyfriend vouch for you? one driftwood sculpter asked.
he's at work, i said.
after work, then? she suggested.
he works until after the polls are closed, i explained.
sometimes when i tell the truth for too many sentences in a row, it starts to sound like i'm lying. like there is no boyfriend and certainly no new yorker. i'm just some chippy with a ranger rick subscription from thunder bay, ontario who took a greyhound to duluth so i could go all no. 2 pencil on an oval next to roger reinert's name.
i stood in front of the card table o'judgement for another second, trying to think of a way to explain to these heavies that this wasn't even a real election and that i should get an 'i voted' sticker by virtue of showing up for their poorly attended party. instead i just left.