What an amazing day.
Oh yes, there was that inauguration thingy. But there was also a visit from a childhood friend, who lives over 4,000 miles away. According to mapquest, it would take 74 hours and 5 minutes to drive from my house to hers. Without potty breaks. Or sleeping.
So. She was in town and we went to watch the inauguration at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. By the time we got there, the theater was full and the seats in the lobby were filling up. We got the last three. I did not tell the people there that my friend was from (wait for it) Wasilla. What are the odds?
I haven't seen this friend in just over 13 years. I know it was just over 13 years because her daughter turned 13 today. The last time I saw my friend, she was round with child. Which was memorable because it was so incredible seeing her round with child. The woman with whom I sewed wild oats was having a baby. On purpose.
We were friends when I was at my most defiant and independent. We were friends when I started just taking off and doing things. When it became Not Okay to have to let my parents know where I was. It was none of their business, I thought. It was time they treated me like an adult, I thought.
I haven't seen very much of her since college. Now I wish we lived closer than 74 hours and 5 minutes, because I know we'd hang out All The Time. And it would be good. We have become the people we glimpsed back then. I think it's even the good parts of what we glimpsed. Those shining things that made us instantly friends are still there and developed in similar ways, despite the 74 hours and 5 minutes.
It was perfect sitting next to her today, in a packed theater, watching Obama take office. Aretha Franklin made me cry - but really, it didn't take much. Being there with friends and neighbors just made me so darn grateful.
A little while after my friend left for Boston, it started to snow. It accumulated quickly, so I called to make sure she was doing okay. We chatted a bit and then signed off. "I'll call you when I get there," she said.
At some point, the edges wore off both of us, and calling in does not equate defeat. I like who we've become.
Favorite quote from the speech: Your people will judge you on what you build, not on what you destroy.