Metro Moments: Elections Edition

Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I looked at the map last week, trying to gauge how early I would have to wake up. But today, walking and drinking overly bitter coffee, I forgot where to turn, overshot and turned back around when I realized I saw fewer "I Voted" stickers on this block.

A man and a woman move closer together in the slight breeze, each wearing their own stickers over the staid uniforms of the Washington morning commute crowd. I smile at them, excited at my ability to participate--however minimally--in the act of democracy. They smile back, ignoring the usually obligatory averted gaze, knowing they will get more smiles in this one day when everyone gets to wear stickers and it's as cool as it was in elementary school.

A man in a dark suit pressed the sticker onto his lapel and bends down next to a stroller. His blond haired baby, too young to have helped connect the arrows on the ballot, contorts her face into a scream. The Obama Biden t-shirt is still a little bit too large. "Smile" the mother says, giddy on the shorter-than-expected lines and mini pencils at each voting booth. The baby continues to scream, the father continues to balance on the balls of his feet, and the mother snaps a picture.

Today it seems particularly poignaint to watch the Potomac reflect the gray sky and strain to see glimpses of the squat Washington skyline. It seems right to watch Lincoln's memorial appear and then slide out of view as I run my finger over my own sticker. Today, whatever happens, is history, and I move from the city of monuments to the office building blocks away from a highway named for the president of the Confederacy, to the state back in the national spotlight back in the election tug of war after watching from the sidelines--as my states have always done--in elections past.

At the top of the metro, a woman stands with a "Yes We Can" hand-painted sign. She is surrounded by the printed McCain-Palin placards. A little further off, there are two more Obama signs. Everyone, McCain or Obama, smile and wave their signs when I bring my camera out.

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Written Pyramids is a blog written by a journalist living and working in Washington D.C.

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