Finally got to Washington
in the middle of the night
I couldn’t wait
I headed straight for the Capitol Mall
My heart began to pound
Yahoo! It really exists
The American International Pictures logo
I looked up at that Capitol Building
Couldn’t help but wonder why
I felt like saying “Hello, old friend”
Walked up the hill to touch it
Then I unzipped my pants
And pissed on it when nobody was looking
– Dead Kennedys, Stars and Stripes of Corruption
DC. The quickest thought about our nation’s capital is simply…
I didn’t know.
Sentimentality wrecks a mind in ways that might be as frightening as dementia. Either way, your brain is basically goo. Hence the term ‘mushy,’ applied to the gentleman holding back tears as an odd brand of nostalgia over places and experiences never actually seen or done before swept him into a lip quivering mess. When strength, machismo, or whatever label a man feels he must wear publicly, slides into the frozen ground while emotions that carry less masculine baggage start to subtly turn his face into silly putty, he can easily be written off as ‘mushy.’
I didn’t know, DC. I didn’t know that you’d wreck me a little, wonderfully, like being slapped by a super model, because she loves you and can’t express it any other way. I didn’t know that there was hospitality amongst your people that not only ran so deep, but so casually; as easily as you breath, you give. I didn’t know , didn’t TRULY know, how the lunar lighting brought the half-frozen Potomac to poetic life, while surrounding landscapes, both urban and rustic, slept well. I read about the Virginian hills and the thousands of lives that ended during a brutal war amongst this idyllic landscape, but I didn’t know how, if I were to violently die, amongst those hills and trees might be where I’d chose to do it.
I didn’t know, DC, about the mushy. The Lincoln Memorial was considerably smaller in person than I thought it would be, yet it’s effect on me…
I didn’t know I’d almost cry.
Recently I’ve read my history. Over 2 dozen documentaries on the birthing of our nation have had shelter in my DVD player. I thought I was starting to get it, to grok the events, people, decisions and ideas that ultimately created the opportunities for, well, me. Us.
I had no fucking idea. That geography can turn up the mush knob; that ‘being there’ somehow displays how much I actually DIDN’T get it; these were impressive revelations. There is solace in embracing these lessons as the byproduct of wisdom, one of those benefits of aging that can’t be foreshadowed. 28 years earlier this beautiful geography offered me these lessons as well, but youth obstructed my view. But this time around, it was not unlike a master’s degree coarse in humility, with a BA in how change occurs.
I didn’t know, DC, but I feel like I’m starting to get it. Through the landscape, the people, the activities, the politics, the history and the sense of change in the air, You are the absolute best and worst of what our country is, and there is nowhere in this country that has that honor more than you. The entire spectrum of the American experience as a dot on the map.
I didn’t know, but perhaps I do a little now. And, DC, I like it.
Tomorrow, the blog will continue with the education and expansion of our minds and bodies, including an update on all that will be coming to Bodytribe in the near future (as well as pictures and videos and such)….