Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Oct 05 2011

US trip, part 9

I awoke this morning to a canine chorus around 8 o’clock. The sun was brilliant outside, and the day quickly warmed to T-shirt levels. Keith, Leslie and I drove out to downtown Oklahoma City to a renovated warehouse district full of restaurants, clubs and a canal down which yellow tourist boats chugged, scattering the ducks. Lunch was at one of the restaurants; I had a burger and Leslie catfish with cornflakes, Keith had one of the largest chicken-fried steaks I’ve ever seen on one plate. Portion control, America, portion control.

After lunch we headed over to the Murrah building memorial, which consists of a long reflecting pool where the street once was, and a smooth green lawn with empty chairs, one for each victim, 168 in all. The smaller chairs were for the children. It was very solemn, elegant and effective. Next to the park is the memorial museum, which provides much more detail and accounts of the tragedy on three floors, beginning with having visitors go through the day up to the point of the explosion, and then having them sit in a dark room listening to a court recording that captured the explosion, and the lights flash as it happens. It is a hard-hitting display, and I rushed through the latter portions as I felt emotionally exhausted and just wanted out of there.

We sat in the park for a while, decompressing and watching the TV news helicopters hovering in the sky nearby, and then getting in the car and driving over to the OU campus. Leslie pointed out the place where our parents were living when she was born (they were still in college at the time), and we got some drinks at a nearby Starbucks and sat out on the sidewalk drinking and reminiscing. It was very pleasant.

The sun was lowering in the sky as we drove back to their house, getting some pizza on the way. The pizza wasn’t cooked, just prepared to be cooked, which it was in only 15 minutes, and it tasted fine. We watched a very entertaining police comedy with Simon Pegg, and then Hot Tub Time Machine, which I’ve been meaning to see for a while now. As we watched, all of the shy cats of the house gradually made appearances for the first time, and the dogs even remembered who I was for more than five minutes of the time. I think feeding them pizza crust helped in that regard, though I doubt they’ll still remember me in the morning.

posted by Poagao at 11:26 am  

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