Three women sat around a small, metal table on the patio of a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant. They were given a single bowl of chips and another single smaller dish of salsa to be shared between them. It was a surprising defiance to the other measures meant to slow the spread of the on-going pandemic.

At least the server still wore a face covering, in spite of the war on masks.    

“Hand sanitizer, anyone?”

The blonde pulled out a bottle from her oversized purse and offered it to her companions after she flipped the top and squirted out a dime size amount into her palm.  The women each followed in suit, rubbing the cold alcohol-based sanitizer between their fingers and around their rings.

There was a collective sense that they were safe from the virus, or as safe as they could be, practicing hand hygiene while sitting a few feet from one another, outside on a cool, early fall night.   

“Can we just be real for a minute? Do you think he even has it?” the older brunette asked.

“Has what?” the blonde woman asked with a genuinely blank face.

During a time when ignorance was more deadly than blissful, it was not to be accepted at this dinner.

“The virus, Trump tweeted that he tested positive.”

Thoughtfully crunching on a tortilla chip, the younger brunette said, “It’s hard to know what to believe.”

She dropped her voice to a loud whisper and confessed, “Did you know that I’ve never voted in an election, but I think I will in this one.”

The older brunette held in a gasp of horror. It was a pattern that she found amongst the younger generations. Either they were hypervigilant in their civic duty or completely checked out. Apparently, her new friends were of the latter group.

“Not me,” the blonde stated as she stabbed at her taco with a fork.

“I can’t vote for either candidate for the same reason that I couldn’t vote for Hilary in the last election. The politicians are all corrupt and I can’t support any of them to lead our country.”

“You could always write in a third party,” the younger brunette suggested.

The older brunette choked down a bite of shredded chicken, as she tried to process how these women rationalized wasting their hard-earned right and civic duty to vote, to participate in government, to determine the type of country in which they live and what of it will be left for their children.

She added, “Right, you could always put Ross Perot out there.”

They both turned to look at the woman and asked in disgusted unison, “Who?”

The older woman sighed, already anxious to leave.

“Please, just vote. It matters.”

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