In the Black — Cameo by Washington D.C.
Finally! After pinballing endlessly — recklessly across the North American continent, The Bus found its way into the nation’s capitol. As Murph crossed the Potomac River and began to snake aimlessly around the entrails of avenues and streets in Washington D.C., Penelope Xing was at once overwhelmed with the bold and enormous monuments erected to the familiar icons of the history of the United States of America and the endless Acropolis-like buildings that seemed to have sprouted up everywhere as citadels for civil servants too numerous to contemplate. The initial effect of the Olympian government presence was exactly as intended: to belittle the being of this common citizen and to trivialize her cares. And yet, as they drove on and on and on, with Murph narrating incoherently like a hallucinating amateur tour guide — which, in fact, he was — she was struck by the obsession with white sandstone, white marble, and, evidently, endless buckets of white paint. They passed the White House and then the Capitol Building for what seemed like the fifth or sixth time, and a smile cracked on Penelope Xing’s face that reflected a crack she perceived in the facade of an empire’s vanity as she began to appreciate how the practitioners of the second oldest profession endeavored to separate and cleanse themselves from the first oldest profession by proclaiming their virtue in the color chosen for their architecture, as if the purity of a bride could be guaranteed by an ornate, white wedding gown.
Suddenly, Penelope Xing felt a fellowship — if not, indeed, a kinship — with the legislators and office holders who would prostitute themselves, their principles and their beliefs so nakedly for their own material and political gain. Time and again, she had seen in her studies history lay bare the manipulations, machinations and, ultimately, the failings of the ruling classes of all colors, creeds and geographies. She felt oddly at home there on the opposite side of the country, three thousand miles from where she had spent her entire life. She no longer felt so small and so insignificant. She looked forward to Friday’s protest with heightened anticipation, ready to embrace the opportunity — finally! — to live, to breath, to be a part of history.
“The only difference between Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. is that at least Vegas has the decency to admit the town is full of hookers and crooks.”
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