Reincarnation vs. Bridges (and Henry F***ing Rollins!) *Language Alert*

Last night I was at Holiday Inn Central in Washington, DC, but this time as a guest. Big things happened to me in the 12 years I worked there: a life ended and a new one began, and then that life died, too. I’m three reincarnations past the point where I left that building and the people who remain; there was a bit of family reunion to the visit. I had to explain a few times how I was no longer married to that Pakistani guy.

I was in town to see Henry Rollins (Henry Fucking Rollins!) present his vacation photos. It turns out he takes pictures like I do – of moments, not just people and things. Sometimes things, though, because sometimes things are funny, like Black Flag shirts on the other side of the world. Let him tell that story.

He started with the last time he’d been at Lincoln Theater. The notoriously tough DC audience (because DC people are smart, he said, but I know they are dry as fuck – you’re nice, HFR) kept looking at their phones like they were bored.  Someone pointed out to him that it was November 8, 2016, Election Night. Who books a performance on Election night?

Henry, that’s totally something I would do. Like the last time I went to visit friends in Lo-Cal, oblivious to Coachella Fest: I missed my own party while I drove 15mph down I-10.

HFR took us around the world and wrapped up again in DC with old pictures of himself and Ian MacKaye. He synopsized (if you’ve heard him speak, think about this) his DC years and the moment he realized he should stop trying to fit in the box. He went and did the thing. I don’t remember my moment, but I always knew I didn’t fit. I had to learn – several times - that I can function in society if I remain in a fluid state. 

As HFR left the stage, I saw him as an Introvert. I know that glad retreat - glad to have been there, glad to be leaving. 

My real reason for spending the night in DC, though, is that my Annandale cottage has only a shower. Back at the hotel I soaked in a bath – catharsis and 1,545 ablutions. In the morning I found Nely cleaning the lobby.

Nely is one of the most genuine people you'll meet, if you are lucky enough to meet her. Nely didn’t know I was coming, but she was happy to see me. She let me take her picture but I wanted to be in it, too, to prove I know her. It’s a picture of the moment, of the connection, of being well-remembered completely out of the blue.

In my 8th life, two past leaving that hotel in DC, I drove over Key Bridge every day to the job I still have. Bridges are a neat combination of architecture and connection, maybe even a testament to what humans will go through to connect. I could see the Potomac on the verge of freezing over - you could probably walk some parts.

Thanks for a great night, Henry Fucking Rollins. I hope one day you get to take my picture. 


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