So when I visited DC two exceptional friends from PC Niger sheltered me. Independently they are mighty but when conjoined like voltron they create a unstoppable force called "Hemily". Tucked safely away from all the evil conservative bushit's of Washington I was sleeping safely in one of the east coasts' most liberal bastion's. A wonderful hood called "Tacoma Park".
Emily is a American Studies PhD student at George Washington University, and is dead set to do anything to bring down the man. For example when our PC friend Matt (whom I just visited) was pulled out of Niger to return for the "surge" in Iraq it was her wrath that had us in immediate contact with the upper eschelons of the policy department within the pentagon.
Henry though more subdued, is quite a force himself. Always in the constant pursuit to become an Olympic marathoner he is a one man wrecking machine of a editor for a weekend culture edition of a newspaper in southern Maryland. Though he is doing all the work himself, theatre, movies, food, reviews etc. etc. His real passion is music and is also a contributing writer for "Bluegrass Now" as well as band manager.
ya good friends to have I know.
Anyhoo, my too few of days in DC were spent catching up with the both of them, but due to schedules it seemed I seldom got to hang out with the both of them at one time. While Henry was away, if time permitted, Em' and I would go into DC and do neat-o things like visit the art museums on the national mall. I even got to gawk at my favorite paintings by Thomas Cole called the "Journey of Life" one of my songs I wrote is based on this monumental work
So here is a little snippet of one of our days.
On July 18th one day after being officially axed from the Peace Corps Henry and I took a road trip to spend some time to ourselves, work, and goof off. He was on assignment to do a write up for a local band playing at a fair, and I was on board to kick it like a ninja.
So we went to southern Maryland, and let me tell ya it might have loads of crabs, sailing, and transplanted affluence; but when all of that is stripped away it is a honest to goodness back woods god bless Americanistanagan.
So naturally two hippies seeking adventure and suffering from extreme parchment and emaciation sought refuge in the town we were seeking only bar. An American Legion.
I know, I know, One would think... Whaaaat? American Legion?
But seriously listen.
I grew up on the road and I learned that if you do a stint on the open road burnt out,counting pennies and in need of a road pint and cheap food. My friends there is no better refuge than an American Legion.
Sure sometimes when I walk in the proverbial record scratches and the heads turn, but as a wayfarer I know how to morph immediately, and often have rounds bought in my favor.
Ah Hi I came in Peace!! Go respective sports team!!! God bless 'Merica.
In AL's folk are always talkative, mostly hospitable if you skip to their beat.
I mention they often buy rounds?!!
So in the American Legion we bellied up to the bar sitting next to some guerrillas of
American folk, after eating a few wings, spouting some 'aMerkana with a tactical special ops trainer and a crew cut former marine/gym coach we washed down our opinions while enjoying a few delicious sammy adams brews.
Then it was time to walk out all uprightish and serious, it was time to get get down to business.
Getting lost in a one bar town is easy when your perceptions are a little hazy, we thought it was us, but little did we know its a natural phenomenon when in close proximity to time portals.
As we eventually found our way to our destination we found ourselves at the predetermined meeting spot: one of the musicians house. Then all things went all wavy gravy.
First entering the house all things appeared normal they were very inviting, the man of the house reminded me of someone like many of our school janitors. A nice man, but seldom do students learn who he is.
On the surface it appeared to be a modern home; hardwood floors, TV, chips on the table, a kid strangely zoned out on the couch watching TV (apparently autistic), a wonderful backyard complete with landscapes and an edible food garden.
But when they took us down stairs...
Down the rabbit hole we went, and what we thought were three normal subdued folk who like to dabble with music turned into a viscous wolf pack of rockers safely hidden deep into their retro lair.
Their jam band palace complete with stand up mic's, huge ass amp's, speakers, instruments, everything all created spasmically in a long forgotten time. Even the tuner for their instrument's was a throw back not to mention one hell of a psychedelic light show in itself. It was like a Frankenstein grandfather clock with tentacles.
No matter what laws of nature where broken in this teleportal, nothing could remind us in this fantastical realm that the golden seventies were three decades ago.
After the initial phase of being severely dazed and confused I was generally enjoying myself and as we watched and listened to some very surprising enjoyable melodic harmonies we were diggin it. They rattled off their renditions of songs such as the Beatles "nowhere man" then as a closer a twelve minute rendition of CSN&Y's "Southern Cross". WOW!
Sorry I mean Far out man!!!
Completely bewildered by what the hell just happened to us we made the 2-1/2 hour trip back to DC and pushed fervently through an Atlantic blower to meet Emily at her current place of employment which was somebodies house who apparently is a political poller who hires Em' do crunch numbers and apparently dog sit.
Anyone interested in Rhodesian Ridgebacks? Seriously cool dogs, but I wouldn't trust suburbonized ones to hunt lions like they were originally bred for to do anything more than cower from a stuffed animal of one.
There we stepped out of the cozy neatly manicured neighborhood into the ikeaverse. A home of rigid lines, modern furniture, and a general lack of feeling that actually anyone lived there.
But really a beautiful home, northwestern style, wonderful landscaping. But all very factory made, its rude to say but a freezer full of icee pops was the warmest part of thier house.
But they had a GINORMOUS plasma tv armed to the teeth with a thousand and one channels, I can't say I would want to spend more than a few minutes in thier house, but to a kid whose been isolated in a mud hut for the last year and a half I could have spent days in front of that thing.
So steadfast in our determination to see what liberals on the other end of the tax bracket live like we ate some icee pops and watched little frogs ride bicycles all over the mountains of France.
Ah home for the Tour du France!! Generally sucks up about three weeks of every summer for me.
Seriously aside from men in skin tight lycra its one of the humanities greatest athletic competitions. Fascinating sport, naturally been a fan for years.
Thinking of it, not only was this day a passing through a few different universes, my whole trip across America was.
As a nine fingered guitarists once sang "what a long strange trip its been"
Well folks thats about all I've got left in me. Today I rode my bike for the first time in a year and half and was giggling like a school boy the whole way. Two months ago my only wheels were a wheelchair. I love healing!!!
Time to publish.
I've hammered out this blog late into the night and its time to enjoy a well deserved pint of IPA and start settling down with a few games of computer chess before calling it quits.
Alright sai anjima!!
tomorrow the Tikiverse: An Archipelligo of the Jam Band Incidents.