The person working at the polling station had herded us into the wrong line. That line was VOTER CARDS only. We figured it out on our own, despite her best efforts to assure us that we were, in fact, in the right line, the first line, the whole time.
When she found out she was wrong, she turned around and stopped talking to us completely.
POLL OFFICIAL read the sticker she wore in the middle of her chest.
I turned to the woman who had joined me in the new, correct line.
“It’s like having a rectal exam,” I said, meaning of course the whole damn thing.
“I’d… like to think of it more like getting a body scan at the airport. We all do what we have to. All part of the process, right?”
So we stood there in silence, waiting, watching our sausage get made. The registration line, the second line, the right line, was rather short, but it was moving very, very slowly.
“This your first time voting?” the old man at the registration desk, finally, asked the woman. The polling station was, on any other day, the community pool. The chlorine burned my eyes as I waited.
“Yes!” was her proud answer. “I have recently come of age. This is my first. Time. Voting. Ever!”
I never received my VOTER CARD, but I showed up anyway. This is not my first election.
Not that I’m bragging, or anything.