Beginnings and Ends

“I’m going to walk to the bus tomorrow so that you have time to vote.” I told the Curmudgeonly Lion.

It was his first time voting and I didn’t want anything to get in his way. The Lion has always been pretty hands off about politics-with-a-capital-p, falling squarely into the “my vote doesn’t count towards the presidency so why bother” camp. And I sympathize, I really do- I hate the fact that electoral decisions are made by super-voters who become super-voters in the same way that shirtless dudes painted in team colors get chosen for the Jumbo-tron. Which is to say, through enthusiasm, team loyalty, and an absence of fuck.

Which pretty well sums up 2016.

But in these new and evolving times, non-participation is becoming less and less of an option. And what’s more- I’m beginning to get a clearer picture of politics-with-a-lowercase-p are important. The local elections that will determine who is in charge of filling the potholes and changing the lightbulbs and generally facilitating everyday life.

So it was very important to me to get him to vote. I knew if be upset if he decided still to abstain, but I was surprised at how proud I was when he actually went through with it- I was practically busting my buttons.

“It’s done.” He texted.

“THAT’S MY MAN!” I wanted to crow to everybody on the morning bus. I sent, instead, an encouraging gif.

The day was off to an auspicious start.

“Congratulations!” I said as I walked in the door that evening.

“Thanks.” The Curmudgeonly’s tone was flat. He had his phone in his hands. The TV show was paused and silent.

“I just got a call.” He said. “My friend just died.”

It was one of his friends from the Renaissance Faire- a mentor and a chess buddy. The death had been sudden and unexpected: a heart attack. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate. Nothing could be done.

My heart went out to him. He wasn’t outwardly moved, but he rattled around the kitchen making dinner with the kind of flitting movement of a bug on a hot surface- as if afraid that holding still would allow the feelings to settle on him. We each did a shot of Jack Daniels with a basil leaf in the glass to the friend’s memory and then carried on with the evening.

So it’s been a day of ups and downs again. Just when I thought I’d make it through the day without tears.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on November 6, 2018.

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