It was really cold. There were tons of people. This is how the President was sworn in for his second term.
There is something about being alone in a crowd of people that makes one feel very...alone. Yes, I am by myself. But somehow, as a lone observer I feel that my inner voice is louder, and almost as though I am invisible. It is a wonderful feeling.
My morning began on the Metro, surrounded by people who, even at 8:00am, were headed to the Mall to stand for hours and wait. When we emerged from the train into the cold air, there were just: people. Tons and tons of people--walking in the streets, mostly. I didn't have a ticket to the Inauguration, and I wasn't about to wait for hours for something I couldn't even see, so I made my way to one of my favorite coffee shops. I had brought a book along for that very purpose.
I was literally the only person walking East. Everyone was walking West, toward the Capitol. I think people thought I was either crazy, or a very confident lost person.
The Library of Congress. And the angels are singing.
After coffee, I decided to just walk and see how close I could get to the commotion. The police had all the streets around the Capitol blocked off, and I felt a little offended that I couldn't roam as freely as I normally can. I guess I can understand the importance of security,when weighed against my own desires to take my usual route. I ended up at Union Station for a while, and then hopped on the Metro from there to wander around Dupont Circle, a few stops away.
At Union Station, I was taking a picture of this cutout of Obama, because I thought it was borderline ridiculous, and so naturally I wanted to text it to Eric. But then a man nearby asked if I wanted to be in the picture, and I said, "Yes....actually", and sent this one to Eric instead. He loved it.
I was browsing the children's books about DC at Kramerbooks in Dupont (there is a shocking lack of children's books about DC) when I heard Obama's voice coming from a TV nearby (and not Beyonce's lip syncing).
I started to walk to the White House, and the streets in front of me, and behind me: filled. With people. Are you getting the picture? I couldn't get close to the White House, because my bag was bigger than the size limit to enter the secure area. And it was at about this time when this semi-introvert was greatly looking forward to wine on the couch.
I can't say I did a lot on this day, other than do exactly what I intended: purposefully avoid any kind of schedule and simply be a part of the feeling in the air. But it was that feeling of being invisible that I could not shake, that I particularly enjoyed. No one paid any attention to me. I felt like I really did have the insider's view on this day in history.