Before the internets broke, I watched the people arriving at the inauguration. Cheney, in a wheelchair. Moving boxes my ass. He’s just too lazy to walk. When I saw Bush I said “bye now,” and at that moment he raised his hand and waved, like he’d heard me. If I’d known it was that easy I would have said it sooner.
Later, when the internets was broken, we crowded around the $7 clock radio in my cubicle, my boss holding the slim wire antenna up by his shoulder so we’d get better reception. We listened as Chief Justice John Roberts fumbled the oath and we stared at NPR’s live stream which was now no longer live, but a frozen picture of some politicians we didn’t recognize.
After that Obama gave his address and my 3D flower box screensaver came on and we stared at that or looked down at our feet. We just listened. We didn’t look at each other, perhaps because we were afraid of revealing a glint of tears in our eyes.
He spoke of hope and equality, spirit and hard work.
And he spoke of bitter swill.
And it was beautiful.