These Secrets Are Being Recorded

My love and I just took quick day trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the National Museum of American history.  She, like me, is interested in most anything, although I must admit I funneled our decision toward that particular museum because I find our nation’s history particularly interesting.

There were people everywhere.  In this day and age of technology and immediacy, I must say I was surprised by the size of the crowd; and they were people who did seem to genuinely want to be there and were quite interested in the whole affair.

We started out on the third floor in the exhibit highlighting our nation’s many and varied armed conflicts.  We were tickled by some of the astonishing items on display from the Revolution and Civil Wars (Washington’s uniform!  The furniture from the surrender at Appomatox! Lots and lots of rifles!).  We took our time perusing the extensive collection.  There were even plenty of items from such footnotes as the War of 1812, the French and Indian War, and our conflict with Mexico (including Teddy Roosevelt’s San Juan Hill uniform).  Then a World War I display–tanks, bombs, more guns, and more of the same in World War II, including some amazing photographs of “nukes”.  By the time we got to the Chinook helicopter that flew missions in Vietnam, we looked at each other, seemingly reading the other’s thoughts.  “Do you want to move on?”  I asked.  She replied, “I’m just tired of war.”

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It’s an interesting time in our country, for sure.  Things seem to be getting a lot more “liberal”, which is good.  I recently told a friend I could sum up my political and social philosophy just by saying “I want to make sure everyone is alright”; apparently, this is a liberal ideology, and so be it.  I’m not afraid to put a label on it.  It is what it is.  Whatever that is.

At times when our nation goes through divisive growing pains like this, there is always a very vocal group that just wants everyone to get along.  “Why can’t we all just believe what we want and leave each other be???” they bemoan.  And it’s a lovely notion, even though it’s complete horseshit.  I don’t want anyone thrown in jail for thinking gays can’t get married or for pushing for the continuance of institutional racism, but I don’t want to just let them be.  What kind of complacent, docile, horrific world do these people want?  They’d rather the boat didn’t rock than actually stand for something.  Rock the fucking boat, you motherfuckers, rock the fucking boat.  I’d rather live in filth than in a land of complacent hatred.

And why is it that the people who most frequently tell you to read your history books are the ones who clearly have never read anything at all?  Doo-Doo, Dee-Dee.

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We live next door to an artist.  She doesn’t know we know she’s an artist, but we know.  A little sleuthing and a little circumstance led us to the knowledge.  She has a garage full of huge canvasses that look surprisingly like Mark Rothkos (I thought they were Rothko paintings at first).  Immense color fields, oranges, deep blues, with smaller squares of blacks and browns in the middles.  And a large, unfinished sculpture in wrought iron of what looks like a male ballerina, mid-adage.  I want to talk to her about it.  I want to name-drop Mark Rothko.  I want to tell her I love John Sloan and Auguste Rodin.  But I’m not going to.  But maybe she’ll catch me wearing my Rousseau hat.

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You try so hard at things in life that mostly will never matter.  Will anyone care, after I am gone, how close I got to my ideal weight?  How close of a shave I managed to get, how many points I racked up on my grocery store loyalty card, whether I had all the Arcade Fire albums on vinyl?  (I do).  Holy moly.  It seems so cliché and trite but I just try to be better everyday than I was the previous day.  Nicer and more caring and less selfish.  And it is so hard and it never gets easier.

But still.  I don’t want to gain my weight back, and I do LOVE my Arcade Fire vinyls.  Life, it sure is complicated.

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One thing I know to be true: it was a lot easier to like the Philadelphia Phillies when there are awful back when they had powder blue uniforms.

One Response to “These Secrets Are Being Recorded”

  1. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    Maybe your neighbor is a Rothko forger. Call Homeland Security just in case. And if she’s not and it’s all a big misunderstanding, what a great ice breaker!

    The storm in my brain is very soon going to write about the, “live and let live” and “I’m nice to gays I just don’t think they should be married” folks. Probably tomorrow.

    Without meat in your life, what are you throwing down your gullet on your cheat day?

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