Good morning.

Here I sit waiting for the news — the good news or the bad.

As you read this, the inauguration will be over and part of history. What will have happened? Another horrible insurrection, bloodshed, a successful coup? American soldiers and citizens firing on one another?

That option is too horrible to contemplate, but I am visualizing the president and vice president, Joe and Kamala, having coffee and doughnuts in a secure location while waiting for the Oval Office to be de-loused.

In the interim I imagine the cleaning crew in hazmat suits, walking the halls of the West Wing with black bags, picking up discarded Diet Coke cans and Burger King wrappers.

I’m also predicting that several congressmen and a group of Capitol police officers may have been arrested. I hope so.

As I sit here watching my TV screen, some 20,000 National Guard troops are walking Washington, D.C., streets, while a number of others are scattered around on the floor of what appears to be a subway station.

There they are, a total of 26,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen, who will be supporting law enforcement.

I imagine that includes supporting the Capitol Police, some of whom are, at this writing, under suspicion or arrest (with one, sadly, a suicide) for giving aid and comfort to the “enemy.” So the first order given them at roll call was, “Don’t turn your back on the Capitol Police.” Good advice.

They are — our brothers, sisters, wives, girl- and boyfriends, sons and daughters, gays and straights — in uniform, their heads resting on equipment bags, some dozing, some texting on their phones, others staring into space and dreaming of a Starbucks latte and maybe a sugary roll. Their lives will soon change.

We’re told that Army and Air National Guard members deploying to Washington, D.C., will for a time help guard the capitol and will, as we say in Hollywood, be “packing serious heat.” In effect, lethal weapons to be implemented at their commanders’ discretion.

We’re also told that such heat will likely be in the shape of M-4 rifles or 9mm Berettas.

I’m not one with lethal weapons. Back in 1953, in the middle of a Texas desert, I was trained in the use of 45s and the carbine, none of which I mastered.

When first handed the 45, I dropped it.

The trainers, in unison, took several steps back, and made clucking sounds.

The next day I was sent to a college in Louisiana to learn to type and write classified intel documents.

I’m proud to say that I mastered the old Underwood, and I dated a Kappa Delta girl who owned a white Caddy.

I didn’t drop either of them.

It’s Jan. 14 here. The sun is shining, and Washington, D.C., is quiet. How’s things looking for you on the 24th? Wake me when it’s over.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer. 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: