It’s funny, I’ve been reading Twittered and live-blogged accounts of tonight’s democratic debate, after watching the end of Sicko. I’m feeling immersed, and it’s bringing back some older stuff.
Last election, I mentioned, I took some vacation time and drove to Cleveland and went into the ACT office and said “put me to work.” It burned so bad, that dirty-feeling defeat…it’s still as easy to conjure as most of seventh grade. I had to pull over during the drive home—on election morning, driving eight hours home to haul my son into the voting booth to pull the lever for the better choice—I had to pull over, unsure why, and I sat there for a minute until I found myself praying, literally, praying to the people of the United States to do the right thing. Somehow, we didn’t.
So this year I’m looking at the field and I’m thinking about the country and letting the basic message of Sicko sink in, and I’ll tell you what, it’s hard to pull it together to give a rat’s ass. Just the effort required to care feels like too much. I’m tired, dammit. I’ve marched a LOT. I’ve canvassed, and phone-called, and letter-wrote, and donated, and volunteered, and continued to pay my taxes and read my newspaper with my nose held. It’s tiring, knowing what’s required. It’s tempting, so tempting, to just commute and come home and turn my eyes inward and keep an eye on the bank account and make sure the schoolbus comes on time, and let that be enough.
I won’t, though. I can feel the fight quickening in me.