It finally fucking happened.
On Oct. 28 I had a religious experience.
I'll be honest, Jesus was nowhere around, not unless he was parading as the woman in the Redskins jacket behind me. But shape changing is something I believe only God does (at least he does in the movies and TV shows like "Saving Grace" and "Joan of Arcadia") -- truth is, any person who claims to be God would a get a polite nod from me as I backed away to a safe, distance.
No, my religious experience was based around another swarthy man who mostly goes by one name -- Obama.
And before you ask, Obama did NOT appear at the foot of my bed in the middle of the night nor did he carry me across a beach leaving only his footprints in the sand.
In fact, Obama did not appear before me at all.
That did not stop me from standing outside.
In the cold.
For an hour.
And a half . . .
just to cast my absentee ballot for Barack Hussein (yeah I wrote it) Obama.
Now, I don't pretend to know what it was like to march during the Civil Rights Movement or follow Moses through the desert for 40 years, but goddammit if standing in that shit weather felt like a huge, biblical sacrifice.
And for what? Would Obama really win (remember this was Oct. 28 so I didn't know I would be part of history)? At the time, it was still entirely feasible that Sarah Palin would be the American Vice Pre . . . even now I can't finish typing that sentence, but you get the idea.
That's when I realized that voting is an act of faith. It's casting hope into a void for someone you've never met or will ever see with your own eyes. It's a well wish for someone else to triumph and make YOUR life better.
Standing in that line felt a little like prayer or how I think prayer is supposed to feel.
And yeah, it was kind of nice being huddled there with strangers who couldn't help but smile through the misery. We smiled because we all put our hearts and frozen fingers on a future we could only wish for.
I guess what grandma said is true: Voting works.