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The Daily Tar Heel

Column: Waiting in line for POTUS

Alison Krug

Newsroom director Alison Krug

I wrote this column waiting in line to see the president. I don’t know if I’ll get in. (I mean, I’ll know by the time I’m editing this column, but let’s keep a sense of suspense here.)

We got here at 8:30 a.m. to take our spot in line across from the Bell Tower. That’s probably not as early as we should have gotten here, but it’s still earlier than I’d prefer to leave the house on a Wednesday morning.

Someone ordered a pizza; the delivery guy pulled up just as the band started to play and everybody stood as a solid 50 percent of us thought the Pizza Hut delivery guy was the POTUS.

They just told us we couldn’t bring apples in, and I’ve never seen so many people eating apples in one confined space since elementary school lunches.

We’re closer now. A lady in front of me has been holding up her sandwich to take a picture of it in front of the sky/Hooker Fields. Is this a new Instagram trend? Sky sandwiches? My Wi-Fi connection is shaky, so I can’t look it up.

The line is moving, but in more of an ominous way than a positive way. It’s slowly creeping as the ticketed line beside us moves at a slightly faster creep. The lady in front of me is asking her friends if she can bring her sandwich in. We’re still about a half-hour’s wait from getting in, so I don’t think it will present a problem, but I appreciate her commitment to her sky sandwich.

I’ve now read three chapters of “Little Women.”

Two guys behind us have made friends because they both have sideburns. One is in the ticketed line, the other in the RSVP line: Theirs is a forbidden love. They call to each other: “Hey, Sideburns! Hey!” A modern-day Romeo and Juliet. Even if I don’t get in, at least I bore witness to their love story.

And now we’re in. Wow.

This would have been an anticlimactic column if we hadn’t gotten in. Thanks to the Secret Service for getting us quickly through security and just doin’ them. Thanks to the tall people in front of me right now for standing just far enough apart that I can see between their shoulders. Thank you to the group behind me for their display of innocent idealism as they suggest that if we all just agree as one group to sit that we all could see better.

I snapped a few pictures and took a couple videos, just enough to piece together a project for class and make my younger siblings jealous. James Taylor sang “Carolina in My Mind,” and I cried a little. James Taylor sang several other songs, and I think he was stalling.

There’s about an hour lull. A woman behind me grumbles that speeches from politicians so far at this political rally seem “too politicized.”

The president walks onstage. I essentially black out in the presence of the POTUS.

At 4:30 p.m. I head out. I’m sunburned and tired, but I saw the president and I read a significant portion of a Louisa May Alcott novel.

So all is pretty well.

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