Tuesday, November 3 2020
Today was election day and things were looking good in the polls for Joe Biden, the candidate who is not a terrible human being. At 11:00am, Gretchen, Powerful, and I drove down to the Hurley Town Hall to vote. It would be Powerful's first time voting ever (as he'd been incarcerated during all the previous elections of his adulthood). Evidently it's fairly easy for convicted felons to register to vote in New York, at least once they are out of prison.
The Hurley voting location definitely qualified as crowded when we arrived, and everyone was wearing masks like sane people do during a once-in-a-lifetime global respiratory pandemic. After voting (I voted the straight Democratic ticket on the Working Family Party line), we waited outside for Nancy, who said she would be meeting us there (she and Ray live within walking distance). They actually both came, though Ray (because he isn't an American citizen) wouldn't be voting. We chatted briefly and then went across Hurley Avenue and Wynkoop to the cornfields northwest of the center of Old Hurley. Things had changed there sine the last time I'd walked in that field. The truck driving school and taxidermy shop had left and been replaced by a branch office of the Hudson Valley Seed Company (formerly "Seed Library.") Powerful had done some work for them once in their boxy building (originally built to house an office of the State Police) and had walked in the field, so he knew where their tiny little plot of squash could be found. It was only about an eighth of an acre in size in the middle of a fallow field many acres in size. Apparently the hunting club that used to borrow this property from the farm that owned it had moved somewhere else, because their signs were all gone. Now I'm not sure who owns it, but it may or may not be Farm Hub, the owner of all the fields for miles south of Wynkoop. It was a beautiful sunny day, though the wind was cold and when the trail exposed us to gusts from the north, we turned around and walked back to the car.
It's difficult to focus on work on election day even as the actual production of news ceases and we enter what always seems like a news-free tunnel until returns arrive in the evening. In the past there would at least be exit polls, but there didn't seem to be any this year. This probably had something to do with the fact that so many Democrats had already voted by mail and exit polls would thus be overwhelmingly Republican. Also, in past years (2004 and 2016) exit polls were wildly misleading. This unsettled my guts, and I ate both antacids and tablets similar to Pepto-Bismol.
A dead white ash had fallen across the road and been cut up (to some extent) by Hurley's road crew. I managed to bring some pieces back and make great advances on building up the indoor firewood supply. Meanwhile, the woodshed is still completely full of firewood, as it has been now for over two and a half years.
This evening we would be having Sarah the Vegan and Nancy over to watch returns from today's election. Since there was a possibility of a outdoor fire-pit fire as well, I went across the Farm Road and salvaged a backpack load of fairly dry (and very dead) white pine.
This evening Powerful brought the old 42 inch television up from his room and got it to show a feed from some news channel using his Amazon Firestick (which I think he had to hack to get this functionality). Eventually Sarah arrived, followed by Nancy and a very excited Jack.
As always, states started being called at around 8:00pm. Indiana went for Trump. Vermont went for Biden. And then nothing much happened for a very long time. Eventually, though, it became clear that things were going more slowly than they had in the years when Obama was running. Florida in particular seemed to be going in a bad direction, which was freaking Gretchen out. "That's okay, we don't need Florida," I told her. When North Carolina seemed to be going the wrong way, I said that was okay too. Eventually Gretchen pointed out that I kept saying things were okay when they probably weren't. We decided the live returns were stressing us out, so we all went upstairs to watch a fat lesbian commedian on the biggest teevee.
I'd been nervously drinking a lot, and by this point I realized that my eyes were each producing separate images, and that if I didn't want to see two of everything, I had to cover up one of my eyes. That's pretty drunk. I also realized that I wasn't enjoying the process of drinking at all. So I got up, dumped out my beer, and filled my glass with water instead. For as drunk as I was, I was thinking about all of this in a surprisingly sober way, suggesting that some part of me had somehow avoided intoxication. Maybe that part gets drunk more slowly than the parts that were so clearly already drunk.
Eventually I got up and, unannounced, went off to bed.
In the cornfield after voting. From right: Powerful, Neville, Gretchen, and Ramona. Click to enlarge.
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