Our day began with the 4 AM wake-up and thoughts like, “Dag it’s early… do I really want to go?.. I only had 4 hours of sleep… my back hurts,” and other lame excuses, mostly because of my apprehension of the media’s threat of crowds of 2.5-plus million people. I’ve been to Eagles and 76-ers games, but have never experienced a crowd of that magnitude. But I got up, put on 5 shirts (including my Adidas hoodie from 19?? ) along with leggings, jeans, 2 pairs of socks, boots, my sheepskin coat (plus a blanket) and carried my apprehensive self (with hubby and my sis-in-law Valerie) to one of the most historic events of my life and of this country: the Inauguration of the best (and sexiest) man as 44th President of these United States, Barack (and I love her, Michelle) Obama.
Cold is not the word to describe the entire day outside. Did I mention the fact that we stood and walked close to 5 miles for over 6 hours? Our first seat was on the Metro at 2:30 yesterday afternoon as we carried our overly tired bodies back to Silver Spring to pick up the car. But I digress…
It was so cold that I thought my toes would shatter with each step I took after the 3rd hour.
It was so cold that I used the taller people around me to shield me from the cold because I am 5’4″ tall. (It worked, by the way.)
We did not eat until 3:30 PM because we did not want to use the port-a-potties (let’s just be real.)
We stood at the Silver Gate (which was our ticket entrance) for almost 2 hours, only to find out that the Purple ticket holders broke down the fence and were standing where we were supposed to be. (Did I mention that Delroy Lindo walked right by us? Looks like he had a silver ticket and could not get in either. Yes, you know who he is… he played in This Christmas, Domino, and Ransom. Look him up… not now.)
When we finally did get in (another story), the jumbo-tron TV screen was placed behind several trees, blocking full view of the screen. (Ok, planners, the trees were there first.) Then there was the group of 6 ft.-plus tall people who stood in front of us… again, blocking the screen. Did I mention the people in the trees?
Oh, yes, we walked southbound through the 3rd street tunnel. And then climbed onto the overpass to get back to the gate. (Yes, I said tunnel.)
There were countless vendors with cheap stuff. It looks like Barack is being pimped by everyone, including Pepsi.
My back, feet, hips, thighs, and fingers hurt. I needed coffee. Each word of every speech was followed by several rounds of echoes, so I could barely hear.
But even with all that, I would not have missed it for anything. I have to thank my cousin for the tickets. I was planning to watch the entire event on television. But after I held my ticket in my hand Monday night, it felt like the Universe was telling me that I was supposed to be there, long with the other 2+ million people who obviously got the same vibe.
There were people represented from every nation, religion, and creed. Babies. Senior Americans. There was no pushing or shoving. No violence. No fear. Just love and the awesome sense of unity and oneness that this presidency has given us, for the first time in the history of our nation. We were hugging each other’s necks in happiness. Thousands of tears of joy were shed and (I feel) cleansed the National Mall in our Nation’s capitol. This was the day that so many have worked, fought, and died for. And we were there.
Thank you, Barack & Michelle, my fellow Americans, and God, my Father, for the vibe of love, hope, and clarity that we long for and deserve.
Ok, now you can Google Delroy Lindo. Or just click the link.