Waiting For November
The thing about politicians is that they can speak for hours without really saying anything. When I was younger, I was sure my grandpa was a politician in a former life. He could talk for hours to my grandma out on that old porch swing. My grandma would daze off every now and again, looking off into the ever expanding field of corn bright green against a rich blue sky. In the end, both of my grandparents would fall asleep in their chairs. Grandma did this because of boredom. Grandpa slept because he had run out of things to say about nothing in particular.
I lived in a small town where everybody knew everybody and their business. There was one stop light, a courthouse, 3 churches, 1 grocery store, and one school split between three buildings. Entertainment came in the form of sports and television. If you lived in Harling, you were destined to stay there. I was desperate to leave. My grandfather was a Collins which made me a Collins by blood. We were probably the most famous people in Harling. The reason for that being that I was related to half of the town. The men of my family always ended up like my grandpa. They would farm for 80 years, have sons of their own, sit in rocking chairs watching corn grow, and make their wives fall asleep as they talk about nothing in particular for hours upon hours. If I stayed in Harling, I would end up like my mom: part time job at the green house, with an endless supply of cleaning and caring to do for the rest of my life. I can't cook, or do dishes, or even fold laundry. My three brothers can do it better than I can. I knew I had to get out. This wasn't the life for me.
I tried to put this into coherent thought and make words come out of my mouth right when I told Grandpa. Everything still came out all jumbled up.
Grandpa smiled. "You need to work on speaking your mind, Annie. I'll give you some advise."
I sat back in my chair by the fireplace, ready to zone out the moment he started talking about nothing. Out of the corner of my eye, Grandma smiled and started rocking back and forth in her rocking chair again. The fire spit little orange embers into the chimney. Grandpa cleared his throat. "Find yourself a project."
He nodded. "A project. Not a school project and it can't be easy. Pick any topic you like, analyze it, learn about it, then try and pick out something you dislike about it. Then try and change it."
Grandma laughed. "This was an assignment your Grandfather's sixth grade teacher gave him."
"It was the fifth grade."
"No, Honey, it was sixth. I have the proof." Grandma waved a knitting needle at him. I smiled at the two of them and sat back listening to Grandpa start up about local politics and who should have been state senator. After awhile, I heard him move on to complain about voting and the President. I tuned out.
Grandpa stopped talking and he was watching me. It took a second before I realized he had asked me something.
"Sorry, what?" I leaned towards him.
"Have you thought about voting yet?" His voice lowered a little.
I hesitated. " No, not really. I suppose that if there's someone I like who doesn't seem like a self-centered jerk then maybe."
Grandpa laughed. "You women are always so particular about your politics. Has to be the right one. Macy's the same way. How long since you voted?"
Grandma smiled her old kind smile as if she were remembering a dear memory. "I haven't voted in twenty years. Seems like they just got worse after Roosevelt."
"Well, why not?" She set down her knitting needles and reached for her coffee. "I haven't like anyone whose run for president for more than twenty years. It was a waste of effort filling out a ballot when I didn't want anyone of them takin' that vow."
"Why didn't you like any of them, Grandma?" I sat back in my chair and slouched down.
"There are things that make a good man and a good politician. They are honest, humble, respectful, they keep their word, listen to the people, intelligent and caring, compassionate and trustworthy."
"Seems like women make much better politicians than men." I started rocking back and forth in my rocking chair.
"I think you would be a great politician." Grandma sipped at her coffee then went back to knitting.
"You'd have my vote." Grandpa bent over and picked up today's paper leaving me alone to get lost in though. I remember Grandpa muttering in the background, "She'd be a better politician than all of the crap they put out there today."
A bit on this piece...
Waiting For November is about a small town girl named Annie, who is looking to change the world. The way she plans to do it is though American Politics, only she's not running for president. In less than one year, Annie goes from small town girl to International Revolutionary. In this day by day novel, Annie and her team try to keep everyone in the U.S.A. from voting in November and change U.S. Politics forever.
I know, I know, I know! For shame! I've missed "three days". Technically, I have only missed two. I did write one post, but I took it down for reasons to be explained later. Rather than beg for mercy and explain it away, I will do a challenge to make up for it. The challenge can either be a blog challenge or a video challenge. If there are no suggestions, then I guess I won't be doing a challenge.