It's always a question whether I'm going to vote in my own blog poll. Sometimes I plunge in: that's me up there in the sidebar, casting the inaugural vote for 9 hours of sleep, which, all other things being equal, is my preferred period of somnolence. Time-consuming, yes; decadent, perhaps; but all in all a lovely way to paginate the days.
Sometimes, though, I don't vote at all. I can't choose, or I don't want to, or I'm not really interested in my own answer but just want to hear everybody else weigh in. This is especially true when every answer is mine, as when I asked you, fearless readers, to claim a fear from amongst my own pantheon of bugaboos.
Most often, though, I hang back, waiting most of the week for the answer to round itself within me. It's always the right answer; I've never changed my vote. I find the finality of marking it down both tragic and reassuring: the suspense is gone, but so is the anticipation.
Yes, I know I spend entirely too much time thinking about polls. It's a disease.
Last week I asked about home. I floated the word up there in the corner and then underneath it slotted an array of options: Plate, and away, fries, made, body, Star Runner, Depot. It was a gloss, a gewgaw, nothing of substance. As always, though, I was riveted by the results.
One of you is a baseball fan. Two of you like to make things from scratch. One of you likes Home Star Runner; one of you is partial to home improvement; one of you likes to stay home. Four of you like home fries, and I empathize: home fries are damn tasty. I had some this morning, in fact, for Second Breakfast, and I made sure to spear every last particle of garlic and potato skin.
In the end, though, I chose Home and Away. It felt right. I believe Home and Away to be the name of the AAA membership magazine, and also the title of a long-running Australian soap opera popular in England, but that's neither here nor there. When I depressed the mouse over that little circle, I understood that, deep down, I believe happniess lurks in the flip-flop between indoors and out, between comfort and discomfort. I like home. I like leaving it and I like coming back. The conjuction is important: and, not or or but.
You don't have to choose. Like I said, neither here nor there.