War Memorial Smiles

He had the weirdest smile. I call them War Memorial Smiles.
Let me explain.

I live in Washington D.C. It’s the town of lobbyists. 4-7 PM at any restaurant is
“happy let’s-talk-about-clean-coal hour”. I promise you, man, there’s no such thing
as clean coal.

If you live in D.C. you never think about the First Lady or the Department of
Agriculture more than the average person.

Once I saw Joe Biden in Starbucks. He ordered a regular sized coffee and put in two
creamers and three packets of Splenda. I wonder if he drinks his coffee so sweet
because he just can’t take how much of a bad taste this world is. But then I think,
damn the Vice President of the US of A does not have the time to sugarcoat anything.
Drink your coffee black, and face the day. If you can’t take your coffee black, then
how are you going to deal with unemployment and gentrification.

Joe Biden wears a lot of makeup.

D.C. is also the town of tourists. I love watching the tourists watch all the museums
and the monuments. It’s always like this:

You and your family are on vacation and your feet are blistering because you just
walked like three miles to get to the Vietnam War Memorial. And you get there
and your dad wants to take a picture of the family. So you line up in front of the
black granite that has all these names on it, names of men and women that died
too soon. And you’re looking into your dad’s camera and you feel like you should
smile because that’s what you do when you look into a camera. But if you smile,
it’s as if you’re being irreverent but maybe you should smile because that means
you’re thankful. And all while you’re thinking about this, your dad goes 3-2-1-smile
and takes the pictures. And later you look at the picture and see that your mouth
managed some crooked thing and your eyes are saying I’m-awkward-even-when-
I’m-by-myself-in-my-room-watching-Twin-Peaks-way-too-late-at-night.

Well that was this boy’s smile all the time. As if all the fucking time he felt it
inappropriate to be smiling. And I don’t mean because of all the dying children
in Africa. More so because of the fact that usually when we smile, it’s because we
are thinking about someone or something else and not the people or things or war
memorials right behind us.

– Kristy Choi, Politics Editor

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