It is the day before the 2008 Presidential election. Seattle is gray and rainy today, there's some guy who is threatening to jump from the Aurora Bridge, everyone is worried about everything says CNN, and my cleaning lady is here. The day breaks, splits into a million divergent spikes, spreading out wildly, changing everything in some way. All these human stories unfold, pieces of origami that keep mutating from a crane to a lizard to a plane to a flower. I sit here quietly typing, and a few miles away someone is in agony, wrestling with the idea of ending his life, surrounded by police and gawkers. I hear my cleaner rattle around in the kitchen. Obama and McCain fly around the country today, hoping to change a few hearts and minds, solidify support at the close of the game.

There are so many people in the world.

My cleaner is such a nice, kind-hearted woman, an immigrant from Brazil, around my age. She brought me a delicious piece of bread this morning, a Brazilian cheese roll she said, still warm. Oh, it was so good and dense and doughy, and it made a nice unexpected breakfast for me. She asks me if I am going to vote, and I tell her yes, for Obama, and she gives me the thumbs-up, and we start talking politics. She tells me how she was lucky to sell her house when she did, when the mortgage went up from $2300 a month to $4000. Oh, man. I cannot even imagine what kind of horrible deal she got into. She talks about having to scramble for cash, asking everyone she knew here and in Brazil to help out until she could bail from the house. I think about how many people have been in her situation in the last few years, hard-working people like her, in over their heads, maybe not fully understanding the contracts they signed. We both talk about the many houses on my block for sale, some for years now. Nothing sells, no one comes by to look, more and more go on sale. It isn't just the working-class on the chopping block. It's everyone.

I will be glad to have another election season done with. All the negativism and fear and fighting will calm, and people will have to deal with who is voted in, like it or not. Neither McCain nor Obama is a great leader, neither offers anything but band-aids to a country that is bleeding out from so many wounds. But is it what we have. There is so much work to be done, so much damage to repair and avoid, I wonder if things will ever truly be in good repair, or if our country and our government simply mirror the nature of people: complex, messy, heroic, tragic.

The man on the Aurora Bridge jumped and was critically injured. The sun is out now. The vacuum whirrs and clatters downstairs. Everywhere, everything changes, always.