After thirty hours of a bus rumbling across the roads of America I have arrived in Washington D.C. It is a city of burglar bars, graveyards and monuments to the dead. My first view of the city was of a cemetery filled with thousands of small government issued white tombstones, this land of the scared and last home of the dead.
The road passes beneath us, across one thousand miles littered with chain
stores and sterile corporate fast food outlets. As we passed through Chicago at rush hour I was struck by how little this city ever really changes. It is a city of brownstones and of small alleyways, of gritty skylines filled with smokestacks and Catholic church steeples. We rolled into Cleveland at midnight, a city that is better seen at night, illuminated with skyscrapers advertising major banking concerns. The bus station was huge and impressive structure built in a 1930’s Art Deco style of permanent materials and conscientious care.
A tall ceiling with drop lights, with a massive double stairway dominating a
room punctuated with large lighted clocks located on either end of the room to remind the passengers that we are prisoners of this building and trapped here. I was fortunate enough to have good friends who braved the bus station’s neighborhood to visit with me in the middle of a long, long night.
At two AM, we rolled out again towards Pittsburgh, a city which lies scattered like lighted diamonds sparkling, laying scattered across the dark Pennsylvania foot hills and valleys. I was drowsed and dozed and periodically not myself, but I awoke in time to see the morning sun breaking through the fog banks as they were lifted up by the dawn in displays of spectrum set against the valley floor below. The price of admission to this spectacle was high but the scene is still worth twice the price.
We were sixty miles from Gettysburg surrounded in lush landscapes of small farms nestled in beautiful high green valleys which are still haunted by the bloody war ghosts of such a now peaceful place. Not far down this road from here is Antietam creek, and I am reminded again and again of how this land is steeped in blood and history. As the sun burned through the morning clouds we entered Hagerstown Maryland, where a more modern and relevant crisis made its self apparent. The same empty storefronts and boarded up homes lined the Hagerstown Road no differently than they line the streets of my own town.
As we reached mid-morning the bus pulled into Silver Spring Maryland and I am
close now on the trail of the beasts, my head thinks of Nixon but my heart still rages at Bush. Maybe it’s just me, but some of these men on the street seem to resemble Karl Rove and reminded me of Dick Cheney; is it me? The people of this town have been accepting of a lost wayward traveler as I remember that this is after all, a Southern town with helpful southern ways.
I am staying at the Hilltop hostel; I’ve always heard a lot about hostels and
all in all, this first time has been a great pleasure for me thus far. There are two other people staying here for the October 6th rally, and so it begins and we are three. In this translucent and transparent land of linoleum and vinyl plastic it is refreshing to stay at a place where so many different people can get along so well with just a simple course of mutual respect. It is a funky old house over a hundred years old and it is warmth to me in a strange town.
When I got on the Red Line train the car was entertained by a street corner or train corner preacher, regaling us in his loudest volume of all that Jesus had done for him in his life. He shouted, “If you ask Jesus for help your prayers will be answered, Jesus will answer them.” It worked, Jesus answered my prayers and the preacher got off the train at the next stop. I was struck though by his zeal and his force and come tomorrow I hope that we have half a hundred with half of his fire and yearning. That guy meant it; sure he’s nuts but he’d bite the heads off nails and would walk through walls for his faith. I hope that I can come near to his zeal tomorrow.
The fight for the lost soul of America now begins, I am here, I am tired and I am done for the day. Tomorrow we pick up our martyrs cross and begin!
David Glenn Cox is a senior staff writer for The Leftist Review