dc - day 4 - tuesday - inauguration - notes in sketch format - part 2

somehow jerome's mom found us. he was able to guide thru landmark (carousel) and the good fortune of a man in a red striped cat in the hat hat, even though we were hundreds deep from the edge of the mall. 8 am and 2.5 hrs to go. standing in place reinforces the chill in the extremities. lots of bouncing. still lots of squirming and jostling. multiple people turned back, tempers flaring at times. the concept of 'personal space' is not honored - people are chest to back, elbow to elbow. we see a man carrying 2 coffees so m leaves to get some. she returns 1/2 hr later w/o them as the line was too enormous, too daunting. after reading the security advisory - which stated that basically you could bring nothing to the mall - we brought nothing w/ us to the mall. we did have 3 vegan breakfast sandwiches that we 'smuggled' in, but there was the issue of digestion. no one wanted to eat or drink lest it necessitate a trip to the port-a-toilets. jerome left to go to the bathroom and returned 45 minutes later. a man w/ a roll of paper towels and a spray bottle stood outside the porta-toilets offering to give a special inaugural cleaning for one buck before you entered. some people took him up on it, given the state of them. eventually hunger won out and we ate the sandwiches, w/ no consequence. at say 1015 or so the concert ended and the 'show' began. a steady stream of dignitary and functionary arriving and sitting. the crowd - at least around us - booed and cheered for various individuals. the energy was building and thoughts of cold and discomfort began to fall away. people were reverent at the invocation but increasingly rowdy afterwards as biden was sworn in, as aretha franklin sang. as barack was sworn in there was joyous pandemonium: flags waving, tear-streamed hugs, celebration. a threshold crossed...

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