I've decided against going to DC to protest the inauguration. I think it's a great thing to do, and I hope hundreds of thousands of people turn out, but I can't be among them.
I love big marches. I love the powerful feeling of unity, the comfort of being part of a huge crowd of people who all feel strongly enough to demonstrate. I love the spirit of community it fosters.
It can be a very emotional experience, as when the mall was blanketed by the AIDS quilt, the last time it was displayed in its entirety. (It became too big.) Allan and I were both overcome with the enormity of it, each square representing a life cut short. Not usually given to public displays, we could only stand and hold each other.
And it can also be a joyous experience, as when we reclaimed our city streets from the Republican convention, then reclaimed our park from government hacks.
But now I am so angry. So angry and sad and sometimes despairing about the fraudulent election and all it implies. And all the horror that will be visited on the world from it. I feel I can't go to Washington in a wholly negative state, all seething fury and grief. It will just make me feel worse. And because I'm so angry, I don't have the energy for it.
Some years back I would have felt guilty about not joining my fellow travelers at the barricades, but thankfully I've grown away from that. We can't all do everything. What counts is that we each do something.