national mall, wdc
after europe, returning home to explore america’s capital for the first time was surreal. it felt like walking through a life-sized model. was it even real or had the idea of what it’s “supposed to be” become the reality of what it is? (isn’t this the case for all things?) even after liberating itself from colonization, our founding fathers saw this nation as the new roman republic – i always knew this but seeing it in person was something else entirely. i walked the museums of the national mall to see our artifacts and treasures with my own eyes, though through a layer of gloss so american the experience felt more more like an amusement park than a history lesson. yet somewhere under said gloss, through the bullet-proof glass, and beyond the interactive buttons, one can see a glimmer of light still shining from the enlightenment… before a guard asks for identification anyway.
there is no auntie ann’s at the national mall | pointing at the white house and asking others what it is is fun | there are no guns allowed at the lincoln memorial | the national galleries of art have signs reading “do not touch the art” obviously because people were touching the art enough to necessitate the signs | dc metro trains are beat up and ugly. our visiting dignitaries ride above ground in limousines with police escorts and don’t have to see the real shit | asians sleep in museums | monica lewinsky’s dress is not part of the smithsonian’s permanent collection
special thanks to lindsay and max for the incredible hospitality
listening to bjm’s and this is our music (2003)