I set my alarm this morning for 7:00AM planning to get up and get out to collect my tickets to the inauguration. A foreign bed and sick kids conspired against me and left me groggy when the alarm went off. For some reason I figured that there probably wasn’t going to be that big of a crowd when I managed to get down to the congressional office buildings, so I went back to sleep.
Standing in the subway at 10:00AM, I fully realized how wrong I was. In the dimly lit D.C. Metro, you realize the precariousness of your situation when there are thousands of others packed into a small space waiting to get out. I eyed possible escape routes (jump off the railing? parkor up the walls?) while I held any traces of claustrophobia back. Eventually I emerged from the Capitol South station into the bitter cold air of a Washington January day.
The lines snaked around the respective congressional office buildings to get through security. Due to security or scalping, there was a decision somewhere that ordered the majority of 250,000 tickets to be distributed on one day. Although I have never waited in longer lines, what was odd about the spectrum of people standing with me is that everyone had a big grin on their face. Nary an angry or impatient comment was heard. I had been waiting the past eight years for this moment, another 24 hours wasn’t going to hurt. What I realize now is that others had been waiting decades, if not the entire history of the United States for the affirmation of equality and freedom that will occur tomorrow. I am fortunate to be present.