I am very sorry for being tardy on posting pictures from this weekend’s rally. This weekend was a blast. Being in DC was amazing, as per usual. I really like that city. Everyone is so nice and friendly, so pretty and optimistic. The rally, the marathon, the veritable spread of Halloween costumes: our Capitol puts out.
Meg O’Brien is, like I wrote on the whiteboard on her refrigerator, the jam. She happily put up Misia and I this weekend, plus two friends from Oakland, all in her impeccably-decorated Dupont Circle apartment.
The day of the rally was intense. We met our friends Sean and his sister Erin at the Metro station, and already it looked like New Year’s Eve on the streets and the subway. We had to go in shifts on the train, that’s how packed the cars were. We got to the Mall around ten, thinking we’d be wicked early, but we were late by about 25,000 people.
Where we were standing we could technically see the stage, but it was much easier to look at the monitors set up on the Mall. It wasn’t so crowded at first, but it quickly became an effort to breathe. As for the action on the stage? It was nice, if not a little stilted. To be honest, most of it felt like watching (or rather, hearing) a skit in a high school talent show. Everyone clapped because they appreciated the effort, but no one was really blown away by the performance.
What was great were the crowds. It’s hard to pinpoint why everyone was there. Was it ironic participation? Giving a voice to the “meh” generation? A genuine desire to change the tone of politics? I think a little of all three. One thing, though, was that everyone was so nice. People were happy, and for the most part, polite. There were a lot of very clever signs, but my favorite was written on a piece of lined notebook paper in crayon. This cute little Black girl in a pink coat was holding it up with both hands, and it said, “I FREAKING LOVE ALL Y’ALL.”
And then it was over. We stood on the mall for five hours, and then walked a few miles back to Meg’s house. The streets around the Mall were closed for hours to allow for foot traffic out of the rally.
The next day, we got up early to watch our friend Sean run the Marine Corps Marathon. We dressed like the athletic supporters we are:
Sean was amazing. He finished 311 out of over 22,000 runners, and he qualified for the Boston Marathon! After the race, there were hundreds of racers splayed out on the ground, moaning and twitching. One guy was being fed a fruit cup by his mother. If this is what strenuous exercise does to a person, I am more and more comfortable with my role as a spectator. But Sean was such a champ! He was cool and comfortable, and suggested we walk a few miles over to Georgetown to have some beers. He is my kind of runner:
He ran his personal best, and he didn’t change his watch all day. I wouldn’t have either.