Tuesday, November 04, 2008

You Know Urine New York When ...

So as much as I try to remain politically apathetic of course I took the time to vote today.

I do think it's remarkable that for once, the rest of the country is broke right along with me. I'm usually woefully out of step with the nation's economy, and when Wall Street is booming and everyone is making money hand over fist, I'm typically treading water in a financial morass trying to keep ahead of the bill collectors. When everyone is losing their shirts and crying poor is when inexplicably I am usually making some headway. Now it seems that every other person I meet has lost big money or has just been forced out of a job. At every one of my Gay-A meetings someone is talking about dealing with getting let go unexpectedly. I guess I'm fortunate that such is my career that sudden job losses become less stressful after a while.

And it seems I am going back to work in some capacity sooner rather than later, I met with the owners this afternoon and it appears the venue will be re-launching with new investors and a new concept sometime next year. For now, they want to re-open on a limited basis for events and private parties and they want me to help with staffing, management etc. We talked details, and by sometime tomorrow they should be making me an offer along with an idea of how much time they expect me to put in and what they will be paying. I have to say, if I can get in on this concept on the ground floor it's incredibly exciting and almost sure to lead to other/better/bigger jobs so I'm pretty stoked.

But back to my vote.

My polling place is in an elementary school right around the corner from my apartment on E 19th St. Typically, I vote in the afternoon to avoid the morning rush and beat the after work crowd. I have never had to wait more than five or ten minutes to get in and out. Because I had an 11 am meeting and I was unsure how long I might be tied up with work from that, I decided to leave early and headed to vote around 10 am. The wait in line this year was almost 40 minutes. Which I guess signals a pretty huge voter turnout.

While I do vote in every big election, I can never remember my district from one election to the next. It's one of those pieces of non-essential information I don't even give a single brain cell over to. Why should I when there is someone there to look it up for me every two years? So I found myself making my way over to the card table set-up with two election volunteers sitting with a list of names and districts.

One of them was in a wheelchair. And he was the one that became free to look up my district. As I gave him my street address and patiently waited, I glanced down at the man as he thumbed through his book. It was then that I noticed the wet trail down both legs of his pants. My brain tried to make a series of mental gymnastics to make me think he had spilled some water or was perhaps sweating profusely. But the location of the wetness and the volume could really only be one thing. My helpful election volunteer had pissed his pants. And apparently, no one was going to say anything about it, because there was no way it just happened right before I walked up. It was clear to me in the tradition of true New Yorkers that "we" had decided as a collective that we would mind our own business, and if this poor man was willing to sit in his own pee and volunteer with the election than by god, we were all going to pretend it wasn't so.

And so that's what I did. And I assume that's what all the leathery elderly Jewish women who apparently vote around 10 am opted for as well, for I was eavesdropping on a number of conversations as I waited to cast my vote. And while surgeries and skin cancer and weight loss and arthritis were all fair game as topics, the wheelchair bound volunteer sitting in a puddle of piss clearly was not.

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