When I received an official ballot in the mail, I was confused. I had no memory of requesting one. Though I often forget things, so perhaps I did.
It’s just that I always vote at the polls. Lately, here in Arizona, voting in person has been problematic due to a number of snafus – ridiculously long lines because not enough polling places were available, voting machines that were wonky, and poll workers who were not properly trained on equipment.
So mailing in my vote seemed prudent. Still, I carried that ballot around with me for weeks, and when the final date arrived to pop it in the mail, I held on and missed the deadline.
“Why didn’t you just mail it?” my sweetie pie said. “I always mail mine.”
“I know … but … it’s just that there was no sticker in the envelope. You understand, don’t you?”
He nodded. “I do.”
So, now I must admit that I really like the round, red, white, and blue I Voted Today stickers. In fact, I enjoy them so much, I keep them stuck inside my linen closet door. Had I given my collection serious thought early on, I might have arranged it better. But, as you can see, the array is rather cluttered and disorganized.
I can’t remember when I started hoarding my voting stickers. Or why. Perhaps I had difficulty discarding them because of the beautiful idea they convey. Or maybe my collection is there to remind me to never miss an election.
When voting day arrived, I stared at my ballot. I would have to go to the polls. When I arrived, three nice ladies eyed the envelope in my hand.
“Is it sealed?” one asked.
I licked the flap and held it shut.
“Is it signed?” asked another. “And don’t forget the date and your phone number.”
“Yes, and yes and yes,” I said.
“Then just slip it in the slot.”
And still I paused. That’s when I saw the third woman holding a thick coil of stickers.
“That what I came for,” I said.
She smiled. “Then take two.”
Blank Slate Press/Amphorae Publishing Group
Price: $16.95 Paperback, $9.99 eBook
As a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper descends into the throes of mental illness, he latches onto a lonely pregnant teenager and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon. When the Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst in a deadly act of sabotage, their lives are thrown into turmoil. As the search for the saboteurs heats up, the authorities uncover more questions than answers. And then the girl vanishes. As the sniper struggles to maintain his sanity, a child is about to be born in the wilderness.