In every town we have passed through in our trip I invariably see monuments to those who fought in the World Wars. Here in New England I have seen many memorials to those who perished during the Civil War. I have even on occasion seen a monument to the Vietnam and Korean conflict. Pre-pandemic I would see these monuments and think of them as a part of the background noise that any place produces. The emotional connection that many must have felt seeing them never really struck me much to my shame.
These days my reaction to these tributes to the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country is vastly different. Having been through the Covid wars I understand first hand he suffering of those who erected the monuments. They wanted to make sure that the deaths of their family, friends, and members of their community were not forgotten. That wanted to make sure that those of us who passed by did not forget them. But they also make me wonder: What are we going to do to remember those who have perished during our war on this virus. Nearly 600,000 humans more than both world wars, Korea and Vietnam combined have died. Will we build monuments like we have had for past wars and natural disasters so those who have died are remembered or are we just going to let them quietly into the good night?
We need to remember them. We need to figure out a way to memoralize their sacrifice so that history’s lessons are not forgotten.
We also need to find a way to pay tribute to those front line workers who saw the war up close and whose memories are full of the death, illness, and hopelessness that Covid created. They are heros we need a way to provide a balm for their suffering.
Speaking of them we also need to vilify those who have contributed to this slaughter in the same we have vilified past architects of genocide in the past. They need to be ranked along side folks little Hitler, Pol Pot and Talat Pasha. I am not just talking about Trump and Bolsonaro but deniers like Rand Paul and Ron Johnson. The Spring Breakers who partied on while sentencing their friends to death and the Karens who walk through hotel lobbies maskless along with their maskless brats. We need to figure out to make them pariahs of history.
Why this sudden outburst on Covid on a trip where I was supposed to be released from its grip? It was not the maskless people I saw here in Maine. A lot more deniers and anti maskers than on the rest of our trip but it wasn’t them. Nor was it the scenes in Miami with the clueless college students who are condemning the rest of us to a longer lockdown because they felt the need to get laid. It was my dreams.
One of the unique aspects of the pandemic are Covid dreams. Those hyperrealist, Avatar like dreams in which you are the protagonist. They are almost never good dreams. They always lead to sudden wake ups in the middle of the night trying and hours of trying to figure out what caused these dreams. I had one last night which I will not go into because it still cuts too deep but to provide context let me say that it was about my best buddy who died during the pandemic intermingled with a Stephen King novel. Hey I am in Maine.
Those who will never dream again must be recognized. Those who dreams will never be the same should be honored and the destroyers of dreams must be pilloried.
We spent yesterday in Acadia National Forest and Bar Harbor.
It is a place of profound national beauty that had Elaine, Rosie and I often gasping on the beauty of the Maine coast. The picturesque harbors and the beaches between rocky outcropping. The warm sunshine combined with the wonderfully fresh air of a pine forest was worthy of the trip. And I would write more about it except that most of it was closed. The Acadia loop road which is supposed to be among the ten best drives in America had a single part of about 2 miles open. The rest, much to our chagrin was closed. We were also, stupidly not equipped to go on many of the trails that led deep into the forest.
I could write more about Bar Harbor which is a delightfully nostalgic town with Victorian mansions and stores that seemed to have been built in the 19th century. We had a lovely walk about the town and found it charming. That being said, it too was most closed. Only a few stores, including the one where I bought Elaine some notorious RGB socks were open. But it was a pleasant stroll and again it made me vow to return but that was not the worst part of this portion of the trip.
You see I have been eagerly anticipating this part of the trip because I had a dream of sitting dockside on a glorious sunlit afternoon and cracking open a freshly and perfectly cooked lobsters. I had dreams of drawn butter and tender claws and perhaps even teaching Rosie of the joy of these crustaceans. The day before at Woodmans I had put off my lobster dreams thinking to myself I would have one in Maine
Everything was going well.. The weather cooperated with my fantasy. It was a glorious sunny day with temperatures and on early morning ride into the park we saw countless road side stands offering just what we were looking for but due to the hour, so I thought, they were closed. They filled me with eager anticipation. Needless to say I counted the moments until lunch hour and then made our way to Bar Harbor to find our perfect lobster.
As I mentioned before nothing was open in Bar Harbor. Not a single place that offered outside dining for those of us with dogs who wished to have a lobster. This was sad but I was full of confidence. We had seen so many places on the way in. Surely one of them would be open? We drove deliberately and with our heads on swivels back to Elsworth. There were, I counted, 14 Lobster joints along the way. All of them closed.
Hungry we returned to the hotel where I asked the clerk at the desk where we could find even a lobster roll in an outside venue. He was very helpful. He called several places for us. None were open or had lobster rolls.
And it was then I realized that in terms of Lobster I was the punchline to the greatest Maine joke of all time. I couldn’t get there from here.