Night Time

The Doors to the Floor of the House


Entry to the Balcony or "Upper House" as we call it

Inside The Forbidden House Lounge. Once the only place off limits to all but legislators.

Night time. Four hard working Democratic women left on the empty House floor as the clock ticks toward 8:30 PM. Snow is falling heavy outside and I wander down to graze at the snack table. Pretzels. Two white shirted security guards smile and say hi. I say good night to them almost every night when the windows are dark and the halls are quiet.
    The stairs are good exercise. In the day I run up and down trying to find Senator McKenzie (who is busy with his law practice right now) or my cosponsors for other bills, going to committee, collecting my mail (which appears in growing stacks all day every day.) I open letters from prisoners, answer e-mail notes on everything from dog fighting and the grocery tax to the human rights act and a bill that’s trying to make it even harder for recent immigrants to hold a drivers license and car insurance.
    Each night my calendar in my auxiliary brain (pda) shows a mass of overlapping events. Receptions with the Hispanic Affairs Commission (which I serve on), dinner with water users,  disability community advocates, stem cell researchers and more. I’m back here on the floor though after just one event most nights, because I still have so much work to do finalizing drafts of legislation and getting really ready for that time soon when I will be juggling several bills at once.
    Off into the night now. Snow inches thick since I returned from enchiladas and dancers in colored dresses, statistics on Hispanics still uninsured, and warm hugs from old friends from years back or hundreds of miles away.