At exactly this time last Saturday (3:30-ish PM), Jeff and I were still in Washington DC, and the Rally to Restore Sanity had just ended. I realize, in retrospect, that the after-rally timeframe was the real reason we had to be there because we had a very trippy experience, an experience that would be impossible to replicate elsewhere. I hope I can express it in words, because it was too amazing to not at least try to describe it. This will be a photo blog, with commentary, because the pictures will help you to empathically feel into what we felt.
The Rally took place on the Mall which, in case you don’t know, is bookended with the Lincoln Memorial on one end, the Capitol building on the other, and the Washington Monument in between. The White house is a couple blocks north and the entire area is FILLED with ancient looking historic buildings. You almost expect to see Socrates lecturing about dust in the wind (dust … wind … dude) on their steps. After the rally ended at 3:00, the crowd of 215,000 people all exploded into the streets of Washington DC’s Capitol Hill area.
Police had closed off all the streets, so there wasn’t a car to be seen anywhere. Businesses were closed because it was late Saturday afternoon, so the whole scene took on a very surreal tone.
In these pictures, we’re walking from the Capitol toward the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue to the restaurant where we had dinner reservations, Old Ebbitt Grill. The streets are filled with people, but there are no other signs of life.
The lighting is beginning to get kind of trippy. The sun is setting early due to the season change. Although it was relatively warm, it looked like bleak winter. There was a very strange cast in the air.
Wait a minute. Is that … Waldo???
It was right about this time that Clark and I started sharing with each other how weird and trippy we felt. We were both relieved and excited that the other was also in this extremely expanded state. Please keep in mind that neither of us had consumed anything stronger than coffee that day, and even that was early in the morning.
It honestly felt like we were in the most vivid lucid dream that either of us had ever experienced and we chalked it up to the power of the like-minded connection with so many others, in addition to the surreal circumstances of the empty streets in such an iconic setting. (Jeff, on the other hand, was still pretty hungover from the night before, so I’m pretty sure he just wished he could be really dreaming, in bed.)
Then we saw THIS!
Yes, Darth Vader was there to complete the Zombie Apocalypse tone.
Well, thank god someone was there to tell us what to think, what to do! All Glory to: The Hypno-toad!
We finally made it to the restaurant and discovered ourselves in the midst of a sardine-packed crowd. Clark had, fortunately, made a reservation for us weeks before, so we were seated in five minutes and the folks without reservations had to wait two hours! All Glory to the Hypno-toad? I think not! All Glory to Clark!
Here’s me and Clark, both still half-tripping, at Old Ebbitt’s Grill for dinner.
Here’s Jeff, just wanting some food and a nap. He’s had enough lucid dreaming for one day, thank you very much.
And here’s you a metal dog.