This is going to be the first of two blog posts for the evening, assuming I remain conscious long enough to write the second one. This one is about today, and what a fantastic day it was and about other stuff too that’s a bit more esoteric and harder to pin down into nice easy to configure thoughts.
Today I saw the Lincoln Memorial. I’ve seen it before, twice to be exact, but this time was special. Long time readers, or friends will know that a couple years back I took a road trip with a buddy of mine to literally find America, or at least to see all the things I had theretofore only seen on television and in movies. I saw New York (a city that immediately felt like home and one I will go back to as often as I can), Washington DC (an odd city of monuments to past glories and white marble) I saw the Moon Tower in Austin (from Dazed and Confused), I went to Vegas, I saw Mount Rushmore, and so many other things besides. It was an important trip, a great trip and one that for various reasons was not quite as fulfilling as I had hoped, but that’s another story.
I don’t know why I wanted to see all these things, or rather I’m still not sure my reasons for wanting to see them are the real reasons I wanted to see them, which is a bit oblique, and deliberately so, I’m being facetious and serious at teh same time. That was a hell of a run on sentence. Neil Gaiman says something about this sort of thing in his novel American Gods, which is about a great many things and is a fantastic read if the ending does leave you wishing for just a little bit more satisfaction, but I digress. What he said had to do with America and points of power and roadside attractions and the idea that people could feel things, these points of power and they would make the world’s largest rubber band ball and charge people five bucks to see it in one of these places of power. I went to see some of these places of power, a bunch of them actually, and if I could change anything about that trip it would be that I would have seen more of them, not just the big ones, but the little oddities along the way that I passed doing 80 in the middle of the night without ever knowing they were there. The only thing I did see that I wasn’t satisfied with was the Lincoln Memorial.
The first time I was in Washington I was maybe 9 or 10, it’s a bit foggy in my memory, but I do know that I knew what the Lincoln Memorial was (I’d read about it in a comic book) and that at the time of that first visit it was closed for cleaning/repair and I did not get to see it. I also remember my dad driving around DC looking for the White House and being completely unable to find it, but that again is another story. The Second time, the time that was part of the road trip and looking for America and all the rest of that, would you believe, it was also being cleaned, and while it was not closed it was covered in Scaffolding that fairly completely obstructed my view of the massive statue.
All that is really just my way of pointing out why today was special, and important and yadda yadda yadda. I saw the Memorial, without scaffolding, and now I am happy. Also had a great dinner at some Italian place a friend recommended to me and in general had a good day. It was fun spending the day with Tarfia too, and exploring strange new places, or rather rediscovering places we had both been before. We also went to Arlington and saw JFK’s grave and the tomb of the unknown soldier, where we witnessed the changing of the guards which was also very cool.