It's after 1 a.m. and I just got settled in at home. Today was the last day of the legislative session in my fair state, and as usual they took it almost to the wire. "Sine die"* was declared at around 11:35 p.m.
Considering they started at 10 this morning, and I started earlier than that, it's been a really, really long day - but exciting and fun as well. I'm actually about to nod off, and I have been known to type in my sleep, with some pretty interesting results. So this will have to be quick.
On the third floor of the state capitol, hordes of lobbyists make their rounds each day. Hundreds of them, every single day of the session. On first sight, it's beyond madness. But in fact, there's a rhythm underlying the chaos if you just stick around long enough to catch on.
At one corner of lobbyist row, there's a rectangular patch of worn-down carpet that's duct-taped to the gleaming marble floor. I have heard -- and I consider the source reliable -- that on this carpet square, the real deals are made. Now, why you would need carpet for this, I can't say. But sure enough, every day the same two or three power-brokers hang out on that rug.
Getting too close to a power source can be dangerous, and I've been advised to steer clear, for my own good. But I still sneak a peek when I pass by, because that carpet speaks volumes about privilege and influence. I mean, really: how many Joe Citizens do you know who can just walk into a state capitol building, stake out a claim to a 3 x 5 corner, stick some carpet on it with duct tape -- and nobody dares to remove it?
So that's my image today, that rug. The picture isn't what I hoped for, but I was trying very hard not to be noticed. Or arrested by the vice squad.
Ladies and gentlemen, the lobbyists have left the building.
* Sine die is Latin for, well, something-or-other. Here in Georgia it's pronounced in a very un-Latin-like way, so that it rhymes with "tiny pie." That's just wrong. But to my horror, it turns out to be awfully close to one of the acceptable pronunciations. http://www.oxfordadvancedlearnersdictionary.com/dictionary/sine-die And here I thought it was a Southern thing.