Giving Reiki, Which I Don’t Know How To Do, To Someone I Probably Hate

Del Ray is a little district of the City of Alexandria, just over the line from where I live in Arlington. We are all outliers of the nation’s capital; with no injuries (don’t ask) I can walk to the White House in an hour.  From Alexandria, a little longer, perhaps. The Engineer and I go to Del Ray — once a colony of railroad workers’ homes, now gentrified, full of yoga studios and specialty grocers — to buy tchatsch and gourmet diddlies when we feel poised to splash out. Sometimes we go to the movies at nearby Potomac Yards, though the cineplex features a popcorn whose festering odor is a bit much for me.

Potomac Yards is a skip and a hop from where a woman- and animal-beating fuckface with an automatic rifle and a political excuse shot up a Congressional baseball practice this morning.

Reportedly the fuckface was shooting an AR-15. That is a spray gun that shoots soft lead slugs, man-stoppers intended to lodge in soft tissue. The Secret Service used to carry them. I’m not dead sure about that detail of the incident but it sounds right. There is no effing reason for a private citizen to own one, but politics for another day. [Correction: later reports verify that the gun was a Soviet-era automatic rifle with a ten round magazine, requiring manual reloading, less of a fire hose than the AR 15 but still not what you would buy to shoot skeet.]

By midafternoon we heard that Majority Whip Steve Scalise — whose assigned security detail, owing to his position in Congress, was at the practice and probably stopped a bloodbath while taking injuries themselves — was out of surgery but “in critical condition.” The report was that he had been shot “in the hip.” That leaves a lot of latitude: did a bullet lodge in the joint? Was he creased in the flesh lateral to the joint? Or shot squarely in the ass, which is a funny idea only if you have never had unrelenting pain in your ass muscles (raises hand)? According to the eyewitness report, Scalise was down on the ground and crawling away toward the dugout leaving a trail of blood. It takes a lot of blood to leave a trail. I salute his guts.

I thought about the people I have encountered who do “remote energy healing” and the like, such as Reiki, which I don’t really understand even if I am a body worker. Scalise is a Republican lawmaker of the purest ray serene, so far as I can learn, opposed to reproductive rights, homophobic, I have no notion of his nuanced position on health care but I would probably yearn to punch him out over it. Nonetheless, he was in Medstar Washington Hospital Center, shot in the ass, after having the grit to keep moving with blood pouring out of him.

I closed my eyes and tried to imagine healing energy going to him, not entirely selflessly, because if he dies the partisan clusterfuck will be unspeakable. But also because going to a baseball practice (like going to school, or a political shindig, or a movie or a mall) is a shitty reason to die. I don’t know if anything really, objectively happened, but I felt somehow glued to the place I was in.

I sat there for several moments, Then I said wordlessly: “Everyone who wants the people who were shot to recover, let me join you.”

It felt a bit like the sensations I experienced when my singing teacher, thirty years ago, told me to let the music come through me and not from me. You sense something behind your shoulder blades and the world feels bigger, more open. The glue eased up. I got out of my chair.

I am lousy as a mystic, and was probably talking to imaginary friends, but I’d like to think there’s good will in the world. If only it could move through everyone, not least Congress, to protect whomever needs it.



George Washington Slept Here

Every now and then the barometer, the pollen index, and badly paced client scheduling conspire to make me feel like a bug on a windshield. This was one of those weekends. I woke up yesterday at around four a.m. wondering if I’d been dropped out of an airplane, woke up again around seven-thirty and knocked out a good six-miler, and beat four butts culminating in a client returned from a European posting. I had forgotten that he was shaped about like an airplane tire, with an identical degree of resilience, or I would not have given him the last, “emergency” slot on a Saturday.

Long story short, by eight pm I had hit the wall and there was nothing for it but — so long as someone else would drive — a trip to the Dairy Godmother in Del Ray, Alexandria, VA. The Cute Engineer and I approached this with caution, because (1) on a Saturday night (2) in high summer (3) a week after the highly popular US President took his photogenic family there, we figured it would be mobbed.

I have been dragging people to this place since I was myself dragged to it by the raving maniac, I mean Congressional candidate I worked for once, who was a single scoop of vanilla guy but seemed amused by my baroque tastes for lemon-lavender, watermelon-mint, blackberry-merlot and assorted other cleansing sorbets. Um, I guess sorbet is sherbet when you are in a Trendy Zone, and Del Ray is that.

Del Ray is just weird. It used to be a railway worker’s hood, built out with modest bungalows in the midcentury prefab style, which are now either unbearably poky and dismal or chic and trendy, depending on your perspective. The main drag is saturated with Yoga studios, bearing out the current wisdom that a “transitional neighborhood” is one where the rents will still allow you to set up a Yoga studio but the nearby residents have the do-re-mi to spend there. There is a cheese boutique where you can drop eighty bucks on a light supper. There are so many “healing centres” that you start expecting to see crutches hanging up. There is a boutique dog and cat food shop. Ey ay ay.

But the sorbet is righteous and I take people there, especially if they will drive when I am staggering into walls.

Halfway through the line we found ourselves face to face with the chair which had cradled the Presidential toches, appropriately emblazoned with the stenciled legend: PRESIDENT OBAMA SAT HERE, JULY 20 2009 and a quartet of American flags.

I guess they didn’t have time to solicit an actual butt print.

I made the Cute Engineer take a photo with his cell phone, since mine has no camera, but he hasn’t yet figured out how to get a photo out of his phone, being an engineer who can build a whole desktop PC and all, so we may have to wait a while.