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January 6th, 2021-Part I

The morning was pretty frigid.

I remember seeing my breath while jogging the steepest hill in the neighborhood. The image was a calming distraction from my sore legs and burning chest. That morning my route was shorter, but not easier. Rather than ending with sprints on the local high school track, I made a last minute decision to stay closer to home and finish with hill repeats. Just before cresting the hill for the first time I looked up and saw two men who were dressed in black, khaki, and white. It was probably the weather coupled with my fatigue that made it possible for me to not notice them looking in my direction. By the time I saw them, we were parallel with each other. But, once I saw them I could not look away.

Both men could have been mistaken as members of a SWAT unit or some militia group, were it not for the posters and massive camera equipment they had propped on the curb. They were standing by a black car with tinted black windows and a Texas tag. The posters were turned away from me so I could not see what was printed, but I assumed that they were in town to protest the 2020 Election. Local and national news reports made clear that there would be people in the DMV area to attend a protest on the National Mall that day. A host of ridiculous questions flooded my mind. Each one became an even stronger distraction from running in the cold. I wondered why they were in my neighborhood, instead of a hotel. Why did they drive, instead of fly? Did they have weapons? How long did it take to get here from Texas by car? How much did it cost to drive from so far away? Why did they look so uncomfortable/nervous? Would it be safe for me to circle back for hill repeats? I decided to attempt one more time. Perhaps my suspicions were wrong. Maybe the men were actually some sort of winter mirage. After repeating the route it could not have been clearer. They were not a mirage.

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