“Free speech is more important than gun rights, so since rampant weaponry makes people fear to speak or act, loose gun laws have a chilling effect on speech and are constitutionally unsound.”

“Why don’t you say this in the chamber, Andrew?”

“It’s banal, self-evident. It goes without saying.

“Because YOU don’t say it.”

“What is this, a pickled vegetable or something?”

“I think so. Maybe a radish.”


I want to bask. And I want to weep. The sun that drenches the world around me lifts me beyond the ken of mere optimism.

Yet I have a hard time getting dressed, for pants and shirts mean the larger world, a girding to meet it. A deceptively sun-drenched world that is always dressed, always girded to meet me. And the moments of additional preparation this provides The Way Things Are unevens the battlefield, makes my fly-zipping and shoe-tying mere draping for futility.

I may be a David but the world is not Goliath, as both combatants needed equally to put on their sandals, thus were psychologically prepared for each other in equal measure. I would expand on this analogy if I knew anything about the bible, so maybe I’m wrong. About the bible story, I mean.

But I’m not wrong about me. And the world.

I did get into the Bill de Blasio party.

With this in mind, since it’s been a disappointing election, I just GOTTA get into this party. The Letitia James one. I rushed back to it. No missed hot dogs for me in 2013.

Pulsations from inside pulsate me, but in place, not toward the entry. I’m goin’ up and down, not to or fro.

Fro is a possibility, though, bro. Thing is, I’m scared, not scared for my life, scared of being embarrassed. Every time I get a certain distance from the door, I can go no further. There are big, black guys in big, black suits outside, meant to be intimidating, I guess, and they intimidated me. They look like the guys who won’t let you (me) into a club because you’re (I’m) not cool enough.

They had guys like that a couple of months ago outside Long Island College Hospital, a hospital the state was trying to close so they could sell the land for condos. The hospital, by court order, was open, but they put those guys there to scare people, so they wouldn’t go in, so they’d feel insufficiently cool to get medical attention. If I were having a heart attack and that was the only hospital I could get to, I would surely die.

And, get this, it was a hospital Leticia James was at the forefront of trying to keep open. Maybe she hired those guys for her party as make-good for putting them out of work when she and de Blasio saved the hospital.

By the way, I know of at least 3 people who saw those guys outside the hospital and thought someone was having a dance party there. (My brain, in its best Belushi “food fight” voice is screaming, “HOSPITAL DANCE PARTY!!!!!!!!”)

Strolling through the ‘hood toward voting, hence destiny, I’m fascinated by the colors of the autumn leaves ‘neath the shifting red and green of traffic’s early lights. Again and again, green turned red by way of yellow, and I felt a musical pulsing, within or without, I was not sure. Could be the pulse came direct from the lights, whose changes synchronized with, maybe, every twelfth beat. New lights on different corners, I moved, semi-exorably, toward the schoolhouse, as pulsing throbbed frontside my brain ‘til I’m in one spot on one corner counting beats between changes, then beats, then beats, then changes, then beats, then changes again.

I was outside Tish James’ victory party. It wasn’t magic or anything, her base was nearby. I wanted to go in and be a laugher too, but those victory beats were premature.

Mere minutes ‘til the election was over, I still had not elected.

I re-hustled my ass and cast the last vote of the night.

In a schoolroom world, with my one vote, I had changed everything.

In reality, I had changed nothing.

But I’d done the right thing. I must have.

On my sweater, a sticker stuck by an elderly poll woman read, “I Voted.”

There was a flag on it. That has to mean something.