Tuesday, November 04, 2008

finders and keepers

I happen to be out front when folks are checking in. I hear staff talking and I hear them say we are full. There's still a line and it's already starting to rain. I weigh the bureaucracy and the rules against the humanity and tell one of the guys to let everybody in. He looks at me and his eyes light up for a second. He nods once and turns back. Good news everybody, we've just found some extra room. It'll be tight but we'll make it work. The line shuffles forward, a few folks clap. Everybody's coming inside.

He's wearing fatigues. His hair is shaved close to his head so close I can see his scalp. He smiles and opens the door as I walk past. Ma'am he says and smiles. I stop for a minute because it's not that often I get ma'amed. I haven't seen you here before and he says he just got back from 10 months in Iraq. 10 months and he's sleeping with us tonight. Thank you for your service to our country. I'm just sorry this is the best we can do to show you our appreciation. He smiles for a minute and tells me it's better here than where he's been and sadly enough I believe him and I wonder once again what the hell is going on.

He's sitting in the lobby with his kid on his lap, the little boy looks about the same age as M. He's leaning against his daddy and his face is dirty. I smile at them and lean down. Are you hungry buddy? He nods and turns his face into his father's neck. We've got some crackers and I hand them over. His dad looks at me and he looks tired. I don't know their situation but it can't be good.

It's finally time to go and as I'm leaving he's walking in. He's got his caseworker with him and he's agitated. Every time I see this guy he's agitated, sometimes wildly so. His mental state is off the charts, his hair is wild and his eyes are too. You better get me my money bitch he says to me as he walks past. I glance over at his worker who looks at me and shrugs. He used to be a pimp and the irony of it all makes me smile. God knows what kind of life this dude lived once but he's sure as hell paying for it now.

We are our brothers keepers. We are our sisters keepers. This hope and change business better happen soon because for folks on the street the gap is as wide as ever and words don't fill their bellies and keep everyone warm.

Let's do this thing and after we are done making history, let's get to work putting it into action. There is so much to do and we've lost eight years now screwing around.

See you at the polls, friends.

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13 comments:

Defiantmuse said...

I'm going to be a wreck today until the votes are counted and this thing is wrapped up.

I already cried once this morning (and it's barely 7am) when I saw my cousin's pro-McCain/Palin bit on her MySpace. I was so disappointed, knowing her as I do, I thought she was smarter than that. (sigh)

it's going to be a loooong day.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

I've been. Now I'm waiting. It seems like change has been a long time coming.

Gwen said...

No matter what happens today, we still have to get up tomorrow and do the right thing. There's no reason to wait for something you already believe in.

I'm sad for that vet and angry, too.

Her Grace said...

This morning, while we ate breakfast, I put Obama's Yes We Can speech up on the computer. Then I had to explain to my girls why I kept tearing up.

I feel like we're on the cusp of something big, something new, something hopeful, something like we've never seen before.

All we can do is hope.

Mad said...

I am quite anxious for America b/c even if Obama wins, the hope and change won't be sweeping. It'll still be fragile humans running the ship. Alas.

Ally said...

Yes Jen, let's do this thing.

Z said...

Dear woman, I vote for you, having no other vote today.

Amy Y said...

Thanks for this, Mama. I'm done screwin' around.

crazymumma said...

if I could vote you know which ay I'd go hon. May it be good.

carrie said...

It's happening . . . :)

flutter said...

more than 8 years lost. So much to make up for, so much to correct.

I hope we can all work together and fix it.

wheelsonthebus said...

I am furious about that vet

Jill B said...

Hey, thanks for this post. I really enjoyed it, and it came at a good time for me.