“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly……..” -Benjamin Franklin
After the seventh jam-packed Metro bus roared past us Saturday morning in the span of a half hour without so much as a gee sorry but this bus is full courtesy wave we finally secured a ride to the Womxn’s March on Seattle, hitchhiking aboard a kind stranger’s little pea-green Ford. Encountering the same problem as us, she had made the last-minute decision to drive as close as possible to the beginning of the protest which would turn out to be the largest political demonstration in the history of Seattle. She had more useful junk, ballpoint pens, spare change and dog-eared notepads in her vehicle than even the boys’ grandma and it felt like we were riding in a traveling hardware store as she disclosed her daughter was in the march on Washington D.C. while here in Seattle she was doing her best to rendezvous with friends in Judkins Park despite misaligned plans. We got into the heart of the Central District and a long line of stalled traffic was a rude but not unexpected greeting: Parking was going to be a monumental feat requiring precious time and our new friend implored us to get out and insert ourselves into the protest for her sake and I stood on the sidewalk and clasped both hands with her through the driver’s side window, she had a twinkle in her eye. We gave her our phone number to call in case she needed help retrieving her car in the evening but I knew we wouldn’t hear from her, she seemed no-nonsense to a fault. I won’t soon forget her kindness.
Later, at twentieth and Jackson a pair of soaring Bald eagles circling over the delirious sign-holding and chanting of the march elicited gasps of astonishment from claustrophobic thousands (which included far more stripes than the negative nellies chattering about self-indulgent identity politics could possibly imagine because their monologues insist protesting anything at all is a waste of time). The eagles lingered for so long in perfect formation, Adam and I at first swore they must be disguised drones, someone’s clever idea for a cheesy prank.
Finally, we had no choice but to drop out of the demonstration at Westlake in downtown, having fallen to the back of the procession over the course of four and a half hours. In the rearguard, getting a little impatient as they’re wont to be on such occasions were the fancy, dark blue police cruisers with hypnotically-flashing red and blue strobes and muscular bull bars: It was just us, a couple ladies with tired arms holding up a This is Not the End sign, some punchy elderly lesbians with bad mullets and the garbage picker-uppers. We merged to the sidewalk with curious bystanders and headed to the monkey bars next to the hot dog stand where the boys played extremely rough tag with a band of rowdy, hungry children who also had exited the demonstration before its conclusion at the Seattle Center. The boys eventually collapsed in a sweaty heap, gobbled up a pair of hot dogs like vikings and we rode the train partway home.