Monday, September 12, 2005

DC at sunset

It's September 11th, and a cool night out. Quiet too. Crickets - lots of them. Gentle waters making a licking sound. Birds flying high and far off. A few pleasure boaters out. There is a skyline, but it seems far away, and quite mercifully it seems to be leaving us all alone.

The joggers seem as happy at they could be. A pall of anger over little detail might be falling in every part of town, but not here, and not right now. Someone more decent than that is running this place right now.

They can talk in circles all they like. Here, all I see is the river which never stops rolling, and a monument to Lincoln that they can't dismantle. I was hanging out with a kid who stopped here too. He set his truck by the curb and the stone balustrade overlooking the river.

He's a marine. Shipping out Tuesday. He wanted to see Lincoln before he left. He sensed the cool night air and the precious last minutes of sunlight. He seemed to want to have thins to remember. Another kid had a guitar. He came where he couldn't bother anyone with noise. I taught him the only good chords I know. He practiced them to the exclusion of everything around him, even the painting the sky made for him tonight.

The Marine's under no illusions. He's also under no derision right now – no girlfriend with fear and doubt, no buddies from home who won’t talk to him. No 'friends' second guessing him. He mentioned Lincoln's compromises.
Quite aptly he sought this place out. It will be in his mind while he is in a Wadi somewhere in the Middle East.

For me, a Wadi in the Middle East is on my mind while I'm here. Will the old hippies with the sour stomachs and the full bellies in the near-exo-suburbs, their inclusive Utopian experiment, really let them be free? Or will they tear through this too like they have everything else?

Will the people there be able to even have what people here seem to hate or ignore? Abuse and mock?

Today? Today, I think so. I think that it can. I think it will. When these men are done it won't seem as pure, we’ll disagree eventually, but it will be done. All war is bad, but their future will start right.

So right that none of the special people will ever want to mention it or notice it, and will find some details to complain about. I say to them: let them eat freedom.

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