A friend asks over drinks if we're registered to vote. Of course we are.
"In a state where it matters?" she continues.
She isn't counting Texas, so the answer is no. I think about this two days later as I go down the races the very first morning of early voting, as I make my picks in races fielding three candidates and not a Democrat among them (or for that matter, a woman). I think about it two weeks later as the results are reported.
Watching the election map fill out Tuesday night, Texas goes a flat plain red. We are the biggest state Romney will win, and that victory is so decided the website map doesn't even bother to color code the counties. It is only by mousing over that we pull up the numbers, realize that Dallas is in fact a blue county, even if it is an island in counties taking Romney three-to-one Romney. This morning in the post-election analysis, someone suggests that Texas is in fact bluer all the time. He says the demographic projections suggest that in just 25 years we'll be an honest-to-goodness blue-wins-it state. And I imagine trying to explain how it was to some young person. How when I came to Dallas I heard a caller on the radio admitting she would never tell her friends she votes Democratic. How my liberal Texas friends thought their votes didn't matter. How we all went to the polling places anyway, tapped away at touch screens in sad little church rooms, left without "I Voted" stickers and pins because they were never there, and let our little blue votes add up.