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2004-11-02 - 2:24 p.m.

In the pantheon of first times, I not believe that the dreams of the hopeful would ever imagine that romantic, beautiful, and possibly life changing moment to occur at seven thirty in the morning in a public school gym, beside what looked like a pee-trough. Candle-light, inspiring music, and possibly excited journalists outside hoping to hear directly from your mouth the comings and goings and comings and goings of what happened behind drawn curtains just inside, these are the images frolic through the slideshow of the mind imagining that first amazing time; not necessarily a man in unwashed t-shirt, massaging his belly, and giving you the nod as you depart the scene, while he harmonizes over the word, “Yeah…”

I’m not sure exactly where these specious ideas find their root, but, no doubt, good old Ziggy Freud would insist they crystallized during childhood. While not present for my father’s maiden voyage, he did insist on taking me along on many of his subsequent dalliances. He made me wait in car saying, “This’ll only be a few minutes.” Waiting around, listening the radio outside some building I’d never seen before, I always knew when my father emerged there’d be a smile on his face, and a spring in his step, even if his gait did seem a bit wider and slightly more awkward.

I had to wait behind an elderly gentleman who seemed jovial enough, but didn’t quite have a grasp on English. Led by the arm of the woman assigned to assist him, he shuffled eagerly into the back, only to emerge a few scant moments later grinning so wildly that nearly all of his teeth were bared. Just outside he turned to his attendant and drew her into a warm and lengthy hug.

Prepped and confirmed, I stood ready; sharing one last glance to the laminated instructions that depicted in graphic detail every step of the following procedure with the woman standing behind me in line. Turn the knobs and yank the handle. Ready and willing.

All in all the experience was a positive one, but I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get a “I Voted Today” sticker, so I could show it off for the rest of the day.

Oh well, there’s always next time.

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