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The public school building that faces the bedroom window of my apartment in the heart of the Bronx has been closed since March or April. Usually, around this time on a school day, it’s mad loud.
This time last year, the school children were playing in the community garden right below my living room window while they waited for caregivers to pick them up. I can remember being so annoyed with them yelling hysterically, and sometimes their language was too damn grown. Still, they were babies, innocent and fragile.
This year, I don’t know where those children are and for the first time in over six months, the school is open as a polling station. It’s where I voted today and it was weird. I felt the emptiness of the walls, once fat with kid-energy, now slim and silent.
As I watched my friend in other boroughs like Manhattan and Brooklyn post videos and stories of long polling lines, I thought about how few people were in the school where I voted.
I didn’t want to vote. I have doubts about everything and everyone on the 2020 ballot.
Where I stay, a vote never saved anyone. No one dreams of democracy. I’ve only lived in the hood for three years and I see that the kids in my neighborhood are growing up very poor. And they know it. Furthermore, they know their folks have been poor for generations and I know their folks have been voting for generations.