Election Day is barely a month away. The dirt is being dished, and the mud being flung. Sweet candy promises paint smiling lips. Applause thunders like the roar of a storm, but will it pour? Or after the fact, will all those signs become an eye sore, flapping against a bitter wind, and sent spiraling into the emptiness left behind vacant promises for a better tomorrow? And will we be afraid of those now elected, holding the power to destroy more lives?
It’s become a morning routine to stop at the grocery store before work. There is no fighting for parking or standing on long lines. You’re in, and you’re out. I grab what I need for the week, and I hop right on line. Sometimes, it’s just me, but not today. An elderly gentleman stood behind me, and a woman stood behind him. He muttered something about a politician, and the woman replied that she did not trust him. He agreed. I remained silent, waiting for my items to be rung up by the cashier, who glanced from me to them, and I saw the worry in her eyes. And I turned, seeing the same look in their eyes, but I remained silent, paying for my food, and walking away through the sliding doors.
The mornings usually fly by, and I’ll sit with my coworkers for lunch. Sometimes, they don’t say anything but just eat their food, or they will gab about their weekend events. Not today. One mentioned so and so was running, and conversation ensued. But I remained silent. I wasn’t following the politicians. I didn’t want to know their details or dirt, or maybe I would lose sleep at night at the thought of them in office. So, I didn’t throw my two cents into the mix, but I listened. And I saw. I saw the same look in their eyes like the people in the grocery store.
During the weekend, I visited my favorite retail store. It was tucked away inside a strip mall. I left early in the morning, enjoying the ride. My thoughts faded into the music blaring from the radio, and my hands danced across the steering wheel. I didn’t have a care in the world, leaving my stress behind, and I strolled in through the sliding doors. And one of the women there came up and greeted me, an old friend, and we talked as I shopped. And politicians soon came into the conversation, and she went on to explain who was right and who was wrong. I remained silent, listening and nodding, but never saying a word. All I saw was the look in her eyes.
Riding home, I left the radio off. My shopping bags rattled against the backseat, smacking the wind away. My eyes roamed over the traffic around me, wondering about those trapped inside. Vacant stores caught my glimpse, and a small group of protestors shouted from the curb. A woman hurried with a baby strapped inside its carriage across the street. Her eyes held to the pavement, afraid to look up, but I knew. If she looked up, I would see that same look that I’ve seen before.
I stepped inside my home. My father finished reading the newspaper and passed it my way. I left it on the table. My brother was on MSN, catching up on the headlines, and he turned the screen my way. But I didn’t look. I didn’t want to know, but I know that not knowing is worse than knowing. But I want to sleep at night and not worry about what lies outside my door. The world is in turmoil, and we are sinking fast. This I know. I don’t trust politicians, no matter what their party is, but come Election Day, I will vote. I will catch up on the highlights of their success and their flaws. I just don’t need to watch the mud fly or hear the dance of false promises. It’s an old routine. They just need to get the job done, whoever is elected, and they need to step up and fix all the mistakes that have brought us down. This is what I want to know.