Tuesday, January 22, 2013

From Long Island to DC to witness President Obama's Second Inauguration

1/22/13 18:26 on the train Northport

How was the inauguration?  There were some who saw my pictures on Face Book.  I should sign in today and check what was written.   The comments, the likes... There are those who check on FB as if it is a lifeline to the world.  I’m not there and don’t want to be.  You can say this is a contradiction since I linked the blog to FB.  There are some stories I will post and others that will remain in the hidden chambers of these files.  So how was it?  Four years ago there was a different excitement in the air.  Those of us in the crowd of almost two million would say it was a festive occasion.  I didn’t feel the same.  Maybe since we had tickets?  Maybe since we expected Joe and Diana to join us as well as my son?  Amanda was in Boston?  Sunday night; I was stressed out.  I was even thinking maybe we can skip this thing and watch it on TV.  Who needs the stress?  Four years before, we dealt with long lines from the Metro station, long lines getting into the station, long lines onto the platform, onto the packed train and shuffling for blocks like zombies on packed city streets in DC. That was then.  I had everything planned, we leave by 7 - the latest.  Park the car and get into the station.  We bought our Metro tickets already - to save time.  If I can’t park the car in the lot, I will bring it back to the hotel and jog the two miles to the station.  Okay, I was a little obsessive about this thing.  I would do it if necessary.  It was not necessary.  I parked the car and we walked right up to the platform and felt like this was going to be easy.  It was not as easy as I thought.  Humanity swelled in the streets.  The crowds for these events are compacted and squeezed like herds of animals down into the narrow industrial strength steel fences, kept off the grasses and kept contained. Not to say we were going to get in trouble.  We were hoarded through metal detector devices. I was waved with a wand held by a lesbian who asked me if I had a belt on.  Yes.  Her mechanical voice sounded as if she was spat out from boot camp a few days before.  Yes, it’s a belt.  That’s my zipper.  The alarm went off.  It’s closed.   No bump.  It’s cold.  To feel any peace of mind, the ongoing concept of threat was subdued.  Silhouettes of sharp shooters, peered down from the peaks of roofs.  It was a warmer day than fours ago.  The sky was grey for the most part.  But this is one event in history - where humanity intermingles within inches, there is no such thing as personal space.  No need to freshen one’s breath as I encountered numerous wafts of digested meals on warm breaths.  We were told to go from one entrance to another and from there I was mixed with a group of young men who cussed on about how they were attending Yale - obviously trying to impress some younger women around them.  Bella was shocked with the language they were using.  What can I say my love? She is ten and the term asshole, makes a real impression on a ten-year old's imagination.  This is the same place where we were mixed with the exclusive company of mink coats, private designed wardrobes, hair styles that were expensive and molded for hours, and when set among the anonymous souls -  looked downright - outright ridiculous.  Did you pay a lot for that contraption? Why bother?  Did you tell your girlfriends you were going to see the President?  Why?  There was one point when we waited to cross the street, waited for a good twenty minutes till my eye balls rolled in urine, I was crying holding the pee and when we crossed we ran like the fools.  Well I couldn’t run.  A woman fell in front of me and when I went to help her up a guy shoved me off her, not too rough of a shove ‘cause I would have swatted him.  Let’s be civil here.  I made it to the barren Porto-Potty and released the steamy stream into the weird blue color abyss and felt a relief like no other.  When I came out to find my patient family waiting they were not there.  Instead I was staring at the blank faces of strangers, their eyes rolling in urine, waiting for their turn of glory.  Ali and Emma and Bella were gone.  Seized up by the tide and washed into the ocean of heads and coats and oblivion.  I went back and found a spot near one of the statues, with a view of where the speech would be given. I calmed myself since my calls were not going through - nor the texts.  I imagined getting back to the car and waiting in the cold parking lot since I could not reach Ali.  Till one message came in and we were only twenty yards away from one another.  I didn’t see them till the President was speaking.  Not that they could see what I saw, but I regret they were not with me.  Emma would have had some excellent shots since she brought her camera.  While the speech was going on, I became friends with those around me.  There was a young black boy who I helped to sit on the railing and an older black man who needed to rest against the railing since he had an ailing back.  For some reason he reminded me of my Father-In-Law.  We were all strangers and yet one unified family as we listened to history project over the loud speakers and into our hearts.

Thank you for reading this

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