Sunday, November 5, 2023

Falling Back

I early-voted the other day. There was a line, but it moved along, and my husband and I moved along with it. This is a big election in Ohio, but then, all elections feel like that lately. When it was our turn, we voted YES for the library and YES for women having the right to make decisions about their own bodies. And then we went grocery shopping. 

Has it always been this way, with the world tipping further and further into a scary, unrecognizable place, and at the same time, you still need to buy peanut butter? 

Meanwhile, at work I am waging a daily battle with whoever the person is who keeps stealing the Vote YES brochures. At the library we have a table for voting information. Candidates in upcoming races are allowed to place a brochure on the table. The campaigns in charge of the ballot issues may set out their brochures as well. One day I noticed that the entire stack of Vote YESes had disappeared.

I texted someone I know who is involved in that effort, and she gave me another stack. The next day that stack was gone too. This happened three days in a row, and it bugged me. 

Bugged me is a mild way of putting it. Not that I think a brochure is necessarily going to convince anyone to change their mind on an issue, but it's the principle. If you believe your cause is right, why are you cheating? (This is me arguing with the person in my head.)

I know I know. Pretend-arguing with a person I don't know is a battle I can't win. And continually replenishing a stack of ballot issue brochures is right behind that on the pointless-ness scale. And yet I can't seem to stop. I am falling back. To an angrier version of an old self. To a time and place where I had to defend myself but I was powerless. 

This morning I wake in the light. The clock on my phone has set itself back in the night. So much time on my hands that I sign up last minute for a yoga class at a studio in my neighborhood. On the way over I walk past YES signs and NO signs. 

Before the argument can resume itself, I am inside, on my mat, clearing my mind while I stretch and balance. 

Home, and I remember. I am no longer in that place. And I am not that person. 

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