To the editor:
I stood in light rain this morning, I had but a piece of time to offer up to the Bronx on the eve of a great election, as mothers with small children headed up to school, stopping first in the candy store, as men and women came down from the buses to the train on its high tracks.
“Election tomorrow,” I called out, holding my leaflet with Alessandra Biaggi’s face on it. “Tomorrow! Let’s vote.”
I must tell you how various the faces were to my cool eye, city waking as I watched.
It was a moment when we passed as citizens, not as players in the drive toward Friday, and getting paid.
Some were not going to grin today, perhaps from wearing grief. Others smiled at my leaflet. But here, one can stand on a sidewalk and watch the waters pass, parting as if one were a stone in the flow, a stone that takes its temperature from the water, seeing faces undefended, taut, tired, saddened, one aware she has come out this morning really put together, a man’s eyes pulled back into his face, daring anyone everything, a lady with eyes lowered, passing deeply alone.
The election will, tomorrow, be for some a reason to be up early, then comes a tall man who tells me he is leader of the “away movement … as in I’m walking away from all this crap,” words delivered with a look I could not grasp, calling after him, “don’t go far,” but he had turned the corner, maybe pleased with what he’d found to say.
Some said “thanks for being out here,” there were two I’d taught in high school who smiled as if they’d caught me out, a man from down the block who winked, and one woman — a stranger — who went high-five, our palms smacking, which kept me ‘til my stack of handouts had all gone.