Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Inside The Pentagon

I have a photo of the Pentagon on my desk. I can’t really make myself throw it out.

There’s really nothing special with the photo itself – I certainly didn’t take it. In fact, it’s a press handout photo from the Department of State. It looks old, maybe from the 1980s.

I’ve had it for almost ten years now. It’s been floating around in different folders, albums, binders… you name it.

My friend Julie and I took at tour of Washington, D.C. We walked the length of The Mall, we visited Mr. Lincoln at his memorial and we walked by the White House. On our way to Arlington Cemetery, I saw a stop called “Pentagon.”

“Let’s get off!” I said quickly, just as the train slowed to a halt. “I want to take some photos!”

We jumped off and the train departed. It was late in the afternoon, and we stood alone on an underground platform. The only way out was through a set of glass doors, leading to a very tall set of escalators.

When we got to the top, we found ourselves actually inside the Pentagon. Had I read Harry Potter at that time, I would have thought of the Ministry of Magic. Of course, I hadn’t. Julie and I instead wandered into a lobby looking lost.

A guard came up to us, asking how he could assist us.
“We want to get to the outside,” I said. “I want to take some photos.”
“Oh, I see,” he said. “I’m afraid there’s no way to get outside at this stop.”

We both put on sad faces. We didn’t know what to do.
“You can take photos over here,” the guard suggested, pointing at a lectern used for press briefings. The Pentagon logo was visible right behind, and I recognized the image from television.

We both got up and took turns taking each other’s photo.
“All set?” the guard asked, politely.
“Well… I was really hoping to get a photo of the outside…” I said.
“Hm… let me see what I can do…”

The man walked away and spoke to a colleague at the other end of the room. A few minutes passed; we waited patiently. Then the man returned with two glossy press photos of the outside of the building.
“Will this do?”

And that’s why I cannot throw it out. At least not today.


Julie. said...

That was with me!!!! Do you still have those pictures? I can't believe you remember that...
Love from far away,

Vickan said...

Yup, that was with you. I do have the pictures - all of them!