The moment is almost here — 923 minutes as I type this sentence.
Eight years ago this week, The Husband finished his radiation treatment for thyroid cancer. Among other things, this entailed following a low-iodine diet and, in somewhat of an irony given current times, he had to be quarantined in our bedroom for a solid week.
Towards the end of those long days, the kids were bouncing off the walls with eager anticipation of seeing their dad. The Boy started a countdown of sorts, tracking the minutes until the nanosecond when it would be safe for dad to emerge. I’m glad I took a photo because it makes me smile every year when it shows up in my Facebook memories. It’s maybe the only thing that makes me smile from that time.
I’ve been feeling that same type of giddy anticipation for the last few days, marking the hours, minutes and seconds until Joe Biden becomes our 46th President of the United States. The moment is almost here — 923 minutes as I type this sentence.
Tomorrow morning, the soul-less monster who has been slithering around The White House and our psyches for four long years is anticipated to depart the premises in true loser fashion, fleeing to Florida like the coward he’s proven to be time and time again. It’s no surprise that he doesn’t even have the decency to participate in any of the traditional rituals; doing so would require him to actually care about something other than his pitiful self. I’m glad he’s not attending the Inauguration. Nobody wants him there. It’s for the best that he just go. I hope — although I doubt — that he’ll go quietly. It would not surprise me in the least if that pathetic piece of shit announces his re-election campaign. If I was a bettin’ woman, I’d put money on it.
The photo of the Capitol above was taken by me exactly 28 years ago tomorrow, on January 20, 1993 while in Washington, D.C. for President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration. The Husband (who was still my fiance at the time as well as our tiny Republican town’s Democratic candidate for Township Commissioner), his sister, and myself traveled on a chartered bus with others from the Montgomery County (PA) Democratic Committee for all of $20 each to attend the festivities. Twenty bucks each was an godforsaken exorbitant amount of money for us back in those days; I’m not kidding when I say it was a major splurge. But one that was well worth it because you could honestly feel the hope in the bitterly cold air. I’m glad we went for many reasons, namely because that palpable feeling of hope — of being able to reach out and touch it and see it expressed on others’ faces — would become all too fleeting over the next 28 years.
Aside from the cold, tomorrow’s inauguration will, of course, look very different. I read yesterday that they are still planning to host it outside. In November, after a different yet similarly long, intense week of waiting and counting, The Girl and I talked briefly about traveling to Washington, D.C. for the Inauguration. Obviously that was before The Insurrection and that probably wouldn’t have been feasible anyway given the COVID cases that include 400,000 dead, a sobering milestone reached today on the last day of this reign of terror. Our candles are in the window tonight in honor of the National COVID-19 memorial, the closest thing we’ve gotten to a funeral for my beloved father-in-law, my aunt, and my uncle.
Instead, I’ll watch every second of the Inauguration at home with a mixture of stark fear and worry for the safety of President Biden and Vice President Harris and their families and our elected leaders combined with a slightly different version of hope and an abundance of relief that this portion of this sad chapter of our history is over.
I’m not naive enough to think that everything will automatically be sunshine and roses once tomorrow arrives. The impact of this tarnished period in history will be with all of us for a long, long time. Probably decades. The sinister forces that brought 45 to power are very much still in our midst. They’re not going anywhere; after all we’ve endured, after all the times our democracy has been battered and brought to its bloody knees, 71 million people inexplicably voted for more of the same. I mean…the fuck? I will never understand how that is possible and at this point, I honestly do not care. (I Really Don’t Care, Do U?)
After tomorrow, I do not intend to spend much — if any — more time writing here or elsewhere about this deplorable excuse for a president and his sycophants. I’m also not planning to read any more books about this regime. They’ve caused immense damage to the country and millions of its people. Greater minds than mine can have at it with their think pieces and analysis of how these four torturous years have changed us, individually and collectively. I know how this grievous waste of four years has changed me. I know how it has forever changed my relationships with family and friends who I thought I knew but who might as well be strangers. Who knows, maybe they always were.
835 minutes. Tick tock.