I was up until 1 a.m. on Tuesday night, not following the various vote counts like a socially, politically invested person should. Instead, I was writing posts, researching, reading sites, and taking a walk around the block; writing another scene for my new novel, typing it up, printing it out, and immediately marking it up with pen (I hate to waste paper, by god, but I love holding my work and reading it—I think I edit better that way, for whatever reason. Sorry, tree).
I woke up on Wednesday, the alarm invading my skull precisely at 6:30. Luckily, that morning my daughter was none too communicative, so I could remain in my muy cansada fog and hope that grinding the coffee beans would rattle me alert, ’cause the sound usually really pisses me off (for no rational reason). No. It didn’t wake me up. Yes. It did piss me off.
I barely managed to pack my girl’s lunch—fruit, veggies, sandwich, yogurt. Hmmm…no yogurt. Oh, yes, there’s one far in the back past some sticky stuff on the shelf that I really should clean someday. Greek yogurt with açai and blueberries. Expired three weeks ago. Hmmm…well, it is yogurt. Isn’t it naturally sour and kind of funky on a good day, anyway?
Bowl, spoon, Cap’n Crunch Berries. Glass of milk. All thumped onto the coffee table to await above-mentioned daughter. I keep saying that we need to find something different for breakfast. She says, Nah. Since she started her gluten-free diet because of stomach pains we couldn’t explain, she has hooked on to the Cap’n ’cause she says it’s gluten free. For some reason, “gluten-free” made me think “healthy.” Hmmm. Mom’s learning curve. Behind the curve. I did make gluten-free pancakes last weekend. They were tasty. Rather more crêpe than traditional American pancake, which made me feel that maybe I’d lose a few pounds, as long as I discounted the slab of butter melting in my pool of warm syrup. Yeah, my daughter licked her plate; she promises me that she doesn’t behave like that in public. I said, thank you. Better a Neanderthal at home than a Neanderthal in public. Plus, I was too tired. I licked my plate, too.
Back to Wednesday (see, I’m still tired and rambling). Finally, I have to throw on clothes, make a pass at my face (eye-crud, drool cake, etc.), brush my teeth, give three brush strokes to the hair (sides and back), grab the keys, remember my purse, switch out glasses for sunglasses and go take my daughter to school—officially stepping into the day. Sometimes, my daughter will start to open up, talk a smidgen, I figure out how to put a sentence together and within three minutes we’re laughing and having the a.m. sillies. I like that.
Many times, my morning fog takes a while to lift, which is okay since many mornings, my girl listens to her music with her headphones on and we’re quiet. Sometimes, the start of the engine sets off an assault of left-wing talk radio, which transports me to my happy place; her, not so much. She’ll snap off the button and race through the FM dial (which feels a bit like hearing the coffee grinder). If she stops on a country song or some techno beat, I gauge how far we are from school. If I only have 60-90 seconds to go, I’ll sweat it out. If I have 91 seconds or more, I quite clearly and succinctly say, “Uh-uh.” She may throw me a look, even pop the dial to turn it off, but she won’t fight me (and that’s all that matters in that time and space continuum).
Either way, her school eventually appears. “Goodbye” is thrown both ways, sometimes with spring in the delivery, sometimes as flat, heavy and dull as a cast iron pan. Sometimes I get an “I love you” from ten feet away and I smile that she’s not too self-conscious about letting everyone know it and hear it. Yeah, I may be sluggish, sloppy, groggy bear-mom this morning, but that pretty and bright girl right over there (see, that one there), she loves me, and let you all know it. Ha! Okay, getting loopy. I need more coffee.
Home. Coffee in hand. Warming hand. Yummy, strong and creamy. Click on main page. Whaaa…wait…huh?…whoa…you have got to be…Holy Crap City…really? Really, really? Oh, yes! Thank you, thank you, America, thank you! Adrenalin is spiking, caffeine is coursing, fingers now flying, eyes now consuming, body tilted forward in full engagement mode—bring it! Feed me! This is delicious!
And what was creating this reaction you ask?
Mississippi voted down the “personhood” amendment to their state constitution that would have declared that the millisecond a human egg became fertilized it was to be considered a real person and as such was guaranteed all the rights and protections afforded actual real persons (who actually have brains, heads, limbs, nervous systems, beating hearts, breathing apparatuses—and not just the potential to have them). The amendment would also have banned abortions even in cases of incest and rape. I believe in the right of a woman to have a choice, even though I’m not sure I personally could make the choice to have an abortion. But, I’ll be damned that if my girl gets raped and becomes pregnant as a result, that she’s going to be forced by law to carry it to term and give birth. No effing way. Ain’t happening.
Ohio restored collective bargaining rights for 350,000 of their public employees. Yes, I think we should let the men and women who chase criminals, race to save our lives, race into burning buildings, dedicate themselves to teaching our children—yeah, I think cops, medics, firemen and our school teachers deserve the clout they can achieve as a group to negotiate the best salaries, contracts and pensions they possibly can. When we live in a capitalist society that’s like Pavlov’s dog when it comes to profits, we need something in place to level the playing field. So, thank you, unions. Thank you, Ohio.
Arizona, for the first time in their history, recalled a state senator. Russell Pearce is the “lovely” gentleman who authored S.B. 1070 which was passed in 2010 (prompting a lawsuit from the federal government) and would have allowed the police to stop and ask for someone’s immigration papers even if there was no overt sign of a law being broken. The prerequisite used for this was “Goddammit, I wanna stop every brown person as far as the eye can see and see if we can kick their butts to the other side of our border cuz that will solve all of our problems.” Oh, no, sorry, that wasn’t it. The prerequisite was “reasonable suspicion.”
(Psst, my daughter’s pretty mocha-colored. Thankfully, we’ve seen the Grand Canyon as I’ve been adamant that Arizona will not get on my short list of holiday destinations anytime soon. Hopefully, this recall is a sign of sanity restored because, well, I kind of dig AZ.)
Maine restored same-day registration voting. Ah, good ol’ Maine. Hail, rain, sleet or snow, ya can’t stop them folks from casting their vote. Thank you for coming out.
Faith restored, my adrenalin-caffeine buzz leveling out, my quiet joy and satisfaction held the corners of my mouth in a pleasant place for hours and hours. It was a good day.
© 2011 article by Kat Ward