Thursday, November 30, 2006

Never go to The Wall alone

A cold, wet, overcast, and gloomy day.

All the same, I recall the beautiful September 1998 weekend I spent in Washington D. C. with a woman I loved. It was the weekend the Starr report was delivered to Congress. We were walking out of the Capital Building as President Clinton’s legal team was marching in to take possession of the report. I turned to my girlfriend and said, “they look as though they are going to the woodshed.” The lead attorney turned his head towards me and smiled as if he had overheard.

Then we went to the Vietnam Memorial on the Mall. Two ramps take you down to the bottom of The Wall. When you get to the center where the ramps join, the names of the dead overwhelm you, for they seem to reach all the way to heaven. Then you lose it. I mean you absolutely lose every perspective you had on the world and life. You just fucking lose it. The ghosts of the dead surround you and grab hold of you until you walk up the ramp into the sunlight again. Even if you do not cry when you are there, many years later you may feel tears rolling down your cheeks when you recall your brief moment at The Wall.

The next day we stood in line to take the White House tour. Everyone was reading the Starr Report in the Washington Post. A couple with their two young children wondered if they should wait in the long line to take the tour. The mother said, “let’s go. There is nothing to see but a desk and a box of cigars.”

However, the morning was warm and bright and I did not mind waiting in line. I was with the woman I loved. It did not matter where I was or what I was doing as long as I was with her.

Never go to The Wall alone. Always go with someone you love. You are safe and protected that way. The sun shines the next day just as it did the day before.

It is a wet gloomy day—the kind of day where every single word you try to write inadequately turns out to be about love and death, the kind of day fit for reading poetry, no matter what the poems are about, so as to relieve the burden.


At 6:37 PM, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's good to find someone who will go to the wall with you.


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