dc - day 4 - tuesday - inauguration - notes in sketch format - part 1

alarm at 520am. green tea, weather check (20's feels like 10's w/ windchill) and out the door we go on schedule, 6am. col hts metro stop is less populated than we'd expected but when train arrives it is wall to wall. we race - 3 of us, jerome w/ us -to the last car like some movie and we make it just as the doors shut. the car is raucous and rowdy, people are ebullient, shouting joyously, goodbye to one long era and a very sturdy welcome for the new one. at l'enfant, teeming, thronged mob waiting to exit up to the street. we are all held in place as the metro personnel are staggering the turnstiles to for the sake of the escalators. while this is probably a sound idea it does not make an ideal situation for the claustrophobe...at last we are rising, outside, glad for the chill after the sweatbox downstairs. we are to meet jerome's mother just outside but she is at a diff stop on a diff line. jerome thinks we can all meet up at the mall. privately i think this is nuts as streams of people, hundreds deep and hundreds thick are moving around us, pulled up a street, past tour busses, up a ramp, onto 12th ave and finally approaching the mall. jerome calls his mom again, she's near the capitol. we start to walk in that direction, parallel to the mall instead of into it until at 7th ave jerome sees this as an untenable solution. his mom will have to come to us. we enter the mall. hard to convey the scope. words/image cannot fully capture the sensation of being there in the freezing chill, 720am now, sun rising, hundreds of thousands of people around us, people squirming, jostling, cutting, pushing, attempting to make room where there is none. we are all bound by this moment. the jumbotron replays the concert from two days ago which is good and bad - happy for the distraction but having just seen the concert we are well aware of where each performance falls in the show and how much time we have left. It is not yet 730 and we have 3 hours of standing - exhausted, spent, empty-gas-tank - standing to do...

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