I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.
I wonder what it is like to stand before 10 people with 1,000,000,000 others in the background.
I wonder about ceremony, the formal beauty of enacting the things we believe in.
I wonder about humanity, the disarming simplicity of being just people here, doing people things. We smile. We wait. We are outwardly confident and inwardly quaking. We hug our daughters.
I wonder at the words of a littlest, “You didn’t mess up,” and the way they travel across the nation within minutes.
I wonder what his evenings are like, if he lies in bed and worries. I wonder if he is happy in this life he’s carved out, or if he wishes for an ignominious flat in New York City, where he could wear blue jeans and eat at a new restaurant without the country thinking he’s making a statement.
I wonder at oaths, if we really think they will make our wishes come true.
I wonder at the unspoken, the heaviness and inadequacy of what we made him promise.
I am glad that the oath rests on other shoulders than mine. I am glad that the country rests on other shoulders than his.
To the unknown future! and men who forego blue jeans and personal happiness.