WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.

SO LONG, FAREWELL...

The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, January 23, 2009

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

The alarm goes off at 5 a.m. “Fcuk,” I say aloud. This is real. It is really inauguration day. And we are really going to brave the traffic, the cold and the crowds, to witness history, our country’s first African American President. I get up from the couch as the house is packed, filled with Courvoisier, Amaretto, my two cousins, my brother, my aunt and my parents. My mom is in the kitchen cooking us a country breakfast of grits and eggs, cheering us on, we who are part of the Joshua generation. Everyone is getting ready, bundling up, putting toe warmers in shoes, sweatpants on top of leggins, two sets of gloves. It is not a game. This is not the day to try and look cute. And no one does.

We leave the house at 6 a.m., before the sun is out, when the streets are eerily still. We head to Georgia Avenue to catch the 70 bus which if you anything about the uurea, is a notorious bus route in the city. I lead the freedom songs. Well the one thing we did right was the day we started to fight. Keep your eyes on the prize. Hold on, hold on. We hop on the bus and away we go, to watch history! As the bus travels and we pick up passengers who are just as excited about this day, it starts to sink in. It.is.gonna.be.fcukin.cold. Oh and we’re gonna witness history!

The bus finally reaches downtown. We head down 7th Street, ready to keep on walking towards the Mall. And then we see it. A closed gate. And a big ass crowd who is chanting. Singing. Not moving. This can’t be life. We walk on over to 12th Street. Same damn thing. My brother bogards his way close to the front. And we stand. And we wait. And we stand. And wait. We learn that the gate is supposed to open at 7:30 a.m., but the generators for the metal detectors are out. Of course. And then we learn that there are only five, count them FIVE metal detectors for all these damn people. So we stand and we wait for hours and hours.

We make “friends” with the people around us. Some guys drove 16 hours from Florida, had no hotel room, came specifically for the swearing-in and were gonna drive back home. We get squished and pushed and groped and separated from my brother and cousins. They get through the gates. And we stand longingly outside them with the rest of the crowd that is quickly growing and moving up the block. Never in my life had I been surrounded by that many people. It was a feeling beyond words, to be around people of all ages, colors, creeds. All there for a common purpose, to share this moment together. And if you have to use adjectives to describe, the best I can do is that... It was breathtaking. Amazing. Simply incredible. And unforgettable.

And then it happened. We got right up to the gate and the police officer says, “we’re gonna close this gate for awhile. And when we open it back up, you can’t go to the Mall. This will be for the parade route only.” What the hell? So how do we get to the Mall? “You’ll have to walk around the White House,” he says. It seems like a riddle. Or a cruel joke. It’s 11 a.m. How will we ever make it in time?

We leave the crowd and duck into a café to regroup. Courvosier and Amaretto seemed discouraged. And on top of all that Courovisier can’t feel her toes. And she can’t lose her toes. Time is ticking. “We have to keep going,” I say. “We have to find an alternative route. We can do it. We’ve come this far. We have to see this happen!” I couldn’t believe I was saying these words, me, one who was never ride or die for Obama, had no intention of even going to the Mall until the night before, was now pushing the team to keep their eyes on the prize. Hold on. Cause when it came down to it, I was no fool. This was what my people died for. Fought for. Prayed without ceasing for. We look at each other, take a collective sigh, and head up 12th Street, away from the Mall, to go around the White House. Could we make it? Did we make it? Find out on Monday!

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

2 comments:

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

we have a long way to go this is just a symbol

Amaretto said...

LOL @ Courvoiser not feeling her toes! I'm not a jerk, but hindsight makes that funny!