Black Girl In The City.

No matter how long it takes, do your part.
November 3, 2008, 3:36 am
Filed under: Political Pleasures | Tags: , , ,

Took a day away from the office Friday to do what I promised myself and my family I would do. Vote! I’d ended up getting a later start than usual because I’d attended the ‘Taste of EBONY’ Culinary show the night before. Even though I managed to get in, do my business and get out in an hour, I was still exhausted when my head hit the pillow a little after midnight. Getting up as early as planned kinda flew out the window but still…I got up.

Went to the Pryor Street location downtown where I was told the wait wouldn’t be too long. Somebody was joshing me because when I drove up at 8:08 am, the line had already stretched up MLK and back down Peachtree Street for at least two blocks. Hundreds of people were waiting in the cold hoping it would be their turn before noon. Sorry but that wouldn’t be me! Needed a plan B because not even the two layers of clothing I was wearing could protect me from the agony of standing for hours in freezing weather. Got Sasha on the phone…

“Hey girl. Where are you?”

“Waiting to Vote. There are sooo many people here.”

“Ok I’m coming to where you are,” I said.

“Cool I’ll get you a number.”

A number I thought. They’re giving people numbers now. Damn this is serious.

When I got to the location I was amazed. Hundreds of people had taken over the Adamsville recreation center off of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (ironic ey? Lol). I found parking across the street and prepared myself for the long haul.

When I walked into the gym I couldn’t believe my eyes. Brown people from all walks of life took up every bleacher and every corner of free space in the building. They were coming out as entire families to do something the majority of them had never done before: exercise their right to vote.

“This is my first time voting,” a Spelman Sophomore told me later in the day. She’d lost her best friend in the Iraq war. The military was his last resort because he was unable to find a steady job. “Six months later he was gone and I never saw him again,” she said. I could only imagine the number of other stories similar to hers.

Sasha and M were camped out against a wall on the other side of the gym. In a sea of hundreds I was number 795. Too bad they were only on two something. I wasn’t complaining because at least I was inside of a gym with a place to sit! Not to mention beating the several more hundred folk that came pouring in shortly after I’d gotten there. There were so many people that they had to start the ticket numbering back at one with a different paper color. So, if you were number 905 on a white ticket, you’d be going long before number 500 on an orange one. I ate time scribbling mathematical formulas on napkins trying to calculate how much time I had left before my turn came. Even helped a new friend, Jason, figure out how long he’d be waiting in dress slacks and loafers.

“I thought I’d come down and get it done in a couple of hours,” he said. Before long he gave in to the cause, sliding his back down the wall until he reached a sitting position next to me. “This is unbelievable.”

Since they’d gotten there earlier time with the girls was short lived. Soon I was left alone with my blackberry, cell phone and the persons huddled against the wall to my right and my left. By 12:30 I was starving and my arse was hurting something serious but still…I waited it out.

Six hours total but I’d cast my vote. The longest I’ve ever waited in anyone’s line to do anything in my entire life. Hell, I don’t even go to the club if waiting in a line is a part of the deal. If I could have found a way to get around it trust me I would have! But there are just some things in life you can’t get past and you have no choice but to wait it out and do your part. I’m just glad I got it out of the way.

Get to the polls as early as possible on November 4th because I have a strange feeling that its about to be on and poppin’. Change is definitely in the air, just don’t forget to do you part (no matter how long it takes) so that the rest of the world can smell it too.

-black girl.