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Election day – a story without a start, middle and end. It feels like it’s been going on forever with no definitive conclusion in sight.

It’s a strange day; certainly not my first Election Day. After decades of Elections Days, this has a different impact. I feel edgy, lightheaded and bedazzled.

There used to be an anticipation of finally knowing the winner. We could watch the news and get minute-by-minute updates. But the headlines are stating that we may not know for days or longer, between extended time for the count and threats of contesting results. There’s much uncertainty, and fear of the unknown has always been my bugbear.

I voted early; three weeks ago in fact. I completed the mail-in ballot and dropped it off at the ballot box in front of the town hall. This was the preferred method encouraged by the local government to avoid long lines on Election Day or overwhelming the post office. Only in certain states can you check online for the status of your mail-in ballot, and my state is not one of them.

I feel like there is so much riding on this election no matter which side you are on. And there are clearly sides, heavily marked with trenches and land mines. I’ve never been a political person. I have had neither the inclination nor the interest to become well-versed on every aspect of every issue. I think it’s safe to say that I am in good company, though some claim to know it all. But I care a great deal about this outcome. I’ve lost friends over the divide. Friends I used to be able to hang out with and talk about stupid stuff that didn’t matter. They still say stupid stuff, but now it matters.

I’ve been reading quite a bit about writing; how every story needs a beginning, middle and end. This post, like Election Day, does not follow the protocol. It is simply an expression that all is not right in the world with the dread of having to accept an outcome other than my choice.

Some people say it doesn’t matter, that the election results won’t change anything. Either way, there will still be a virus, hate crimes, natural disasters, unemployment and poverty. Maybe so. But this isn’t about the people voting in this election. It’s about the next generation of voters who, with the right leadership, will find the answers to these issues so their stories can begin and ultimately avert a dismal end.