Yesterday, I was part of a really inspiring rally to support Barack Obama. My friend Patsy and I had it all planned out. We would meet to get in line, approximately five hours early, complete with picnic food and wine. We brought books, we gabbed, we drank. Then we spotted TG (short for Teddy Graham guy). This poor sap managed to get a Teddy Graham stuck to his back while lounging, not squish it, and then walk around with it clinging to his shirt for awhile.
A few hours went by and a freestyle rap artist named Tony B Conscious began a loud, lengthy, amusing show about Obama, his family, and some t-shirts that support him. The Teddy Graham came loose, but none of the thousands of people in line stepped on it. We decided it was a good omen.
Hours later, after being shuffled around from seat to seat in the basketball arena, we decided to play "Where's TG?" to pass the time until Barack came out, 40 minutes late. There, among the thousands of supporters, was TG...right near Barack Obama. He had a great seat. Obama's speech was worth all the waiting around. I was just so blown away by his genuine-ness, his real attitude of caring. His words didn't seem empty to me and I left the rally actually feeling hope for the country. I liked it.
I liked it even more when I discovered that some of the student athletes had made their way in there, heard him speak, and felt inspired to vote. For these students to actually process what he was saying, to be able to speak about it in more detail than their English papers really meant a lot to me. I was stunned by their inspiration.
So I went to the polls this morning happy, smiling at the memory of TG, wearing my Obama button, eager to vote. But they didn't have my name on the damn list. I updated everything when I changed my name, but it didn't work. I wasn't anywhere to be found, under R, L, or any of the other letters. They just kept saying, "Are you Corey??" and I'd yell back, "NO! THAT IS MY HUSBAND. I AM KATY. CAN I VOTE NOW?"
They had to call in some lady who understood the procedure for these things. She found me a "provisional ballot" and I had to scrounge up a #2 pencil (they didn't have one) to fill everything in by hand. Never fear, though. Twenty minutes later, I emerged having exercised my civic duty. I felt the Iron Jawed Angels shivering with joy at my vote. I like it. I feel powerful. I feel hope.