Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The national savior

I voted today.

Despite fears and horror stories of how long the wait would be, my wife and i went to the polls and cast our votes. It really wasn't that long, actually, and it was nice to have a brief moment to talk. Afterward, we stopped by the nearby coffee shop, where the line was longer than the polls, because apparently, it was all the same people, and it takes longer for each person to get a latte than to influence the course of their government.

The coffee shop had a different attitude today than other times i've been. I am not an infrequent customer there. My position with LSU is half research, and since the destruction of much of our infrastructure, the faculty are spread accross many hospitals and campuses around the city. This particular coffee house is near the Tulane campus, and has free wireless internet, so it's not a bad place to meet people if you need a place with good parking and internet access.

So this morning, I'd voted, and i'd grabbed a post-vote cup of coffee with my wife, and then was waiting for the Tulane faculty member i was to meet there and the two research assistants who were helping us, because it was a central location for the 4 of us. In the interval between her leaving, and their arrival, a middle aged gentleman walked up, put his cup on the table next to me, and launched into a lecture about my use of four chairs, "I can't believe people like you! Taking up two tables and four chairs like you own the place!" He added more and then turned on his heel and marched out.

Mind you, there were still plenty of open seats and tables, but that's all beside the point. It just struck me that i can't imagine that happening there on any other day. Somehow that had to do with voting day. A day where we are fired up about our own and other peoples opinions, and somehow feel like there's a value in declaring them.

It's only true to a point. There's that old truism about opinions....

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