ubi iste post phaselus antea fuit
comata silva nam Cytorio in iugo
loquente saepe sibilum edidit coma
where you later see a boat was once
wood forest tied to Cytorian mountains
speaking often in whistling leaf voices
Gaius Valerius Catullus: 4, x-xii.
It is an ancient tradition.
The artist goes to the capital.
Here, he or she will discover la raison d’etre, and a place in history.
Danial is strange. Shall not go to New York.
He will fly overnight. To Washington, DC.
November 6-7, 1974.
“Welcome to the Nation’s Capital,” Jonas will say, two nights later, talking on the interrupting telephone to someone else, after he invites Dani home for dinner.
They met over peanuts in DuPont Circle.
I was desperately homesick my second afternoon in DC.
I stood on the public roof-deck at the State Department, gazing out over the Mall.
The chill of autumn was warning me about winter. Is coming. Soon.
My heart ached. I was alone.
Then, in my grief, I felt a voice. It told me: go to the fountain in DuPont Circle at five p.m. You will meet someone who will ease your pain.
Jonas and his partner Link ate Danial for desert. Twice.
His parents and uncle and aunt drove him to the airport. None of them understood why he was going, except they all knew he was running away again.
Only writing this will make that clear to him.
I flew all night from Diego to Dules, with a stop at Dallas. Didn’t have to change planes. At dawn we crossed the Blue Ridge, its rounded peaks brushed in scarlet pink sunrise, already reminding me of Cuyamaca – my childhood mountain, now abandoned for… what? A dream? Yes. A dream of living in the capital, suffering adventures and adversities, crossing lines and breaking p—
The plane touched down. A huge turtle would carry them to the terminal.
Aero Saarinen, his brain whispers.