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I am a public health doctor who is cynically optimistic about most things.

Deja vu daydreams

Bleary-eyed I force myself awake, it’s the 6th of the month and I need to vote. I stumble past the TV that is blaring out with an indistinguishable figure warning of civil unrest from a hung political process. My friend texts me that he’s voting in the Greens – Green what? voting in the Green Zone?

I struggle against stupor as I swipe my keys and drive towards the polling station. It’s hot and everything I do feels slow and lethargic as the radio covers issues of vote-rigging and fraud in the capital.

The voting officials don’t seem to care much for my Iraqi passport as I am handed a voting form by a pasty-faced middle-aged woman.  I struggle to make sense of the form – which list? which candidate number was I supposed to remember? Placing a malformed X in a box, I slip the form into a real box and ask about the finger ink. They stare back, blank-faced. Things start to turn ugly as I demand my right to a purple finger. Luckily I realise that I’m in a primary school and soon find a child’s paint pot to plunge my finger into.

I scream with delight as I run towards the exit, spraying yellow acrylic across the astonished onlookers. But my gait is heavy and I soon find myself face to belly with Fat Tory. Fat Tory! what’s he doing here? He has certainly gained weight and we engage in a civil discussion of how to evict the Tories from Baghdad.

Safe at home, the TV shows that the incumbent leader (always a little glum) has come second in the vote. There is a slight smile though as he knows the winner (wanting to heal a fractured society) will soon have problems forming a governing coalition. The autonomous North haven’t made significant gains and are not to be the king-makers,  it’s up to the third party with its half-baked policies and curious populism…

I doze off, my somnolence has finally caught up with me.

Bleary-eyed I force myself awake, it’s the 6th of the month and I need to vote…

4 Comments on “Deja vu daydreams”

  1. Mystery May 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Ali, your literary talent is wasted in medicine.

  2. Ali D May 7, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    You really do write very well Ali, thanks for that!

  3. Mehdi May 8, 2010 at 8:05 am #

    A friend of mine also demanded to dip his finger in some ink at a Neasden polling station, to the bemusement of polling officials.

    Awesome piece.

  4. Zainab May 8, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    This is brilliantly-described!

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