Inauguration in Eighteen Photos and 259 Words

Overheard in DC

Young Boy: But this is too far to walk! I’m tired!

Father: You’ll appreciate this when you’re older, I promise you that.

***

Mother: Baby, we gonna see Obama. I’ll make you see Obama if I have to throw myself on his car and go to jail. My baby gonna see Obama.

Young Girl with Wide Eyes: You goin’ to jail?

***

Yesterday we could barely sleep and we bounced around early in the morning, donned coats and hats and scarves and mittens and Vaselined our faces to keep from freezing and prepared to go.

Whether we walked or biked or Metroed in, most of us ended up walking through the third street tunnel. Surreal.

We ignored the barriers around the mall. Helped ourselves, and each other, over them. We found spots crammed in among the crowd…

sitting on Port-a-Potties…

hanging out in trees…

in groups, alone, or in pairs.

All trying to get a glimpse of the Jumbotron off in the distance.

We were chatting and laughed until we heard speeches. Then, silence fell over us. More than one million people. Silent. Listening.

Trying to blink back tears.

But failing.

Intently listening to President Obama speak to us.

And many of us—even some of us “non-believers”—prayed together. Muttering quietly, “Our father, who art in heaven…” and ending with, “Amen.” Our heads bowed.

And when the clapping and cheering and chanting and singing and booing started in the front, we heard it in the back. The sound coming toward us and finally over and behind us. A wave of emotions.

And we left the Mall a mess. (Come on, people.)

And we stared at the insane, naked body-painted woman. (And yes, she was naked. Not a body suit or thong in sight.)

And in the shining sun,

we headed home.

Packing the Metro stations,

and the streets.

Under the leadership of our new president: Barack Hussein Obama.