As I begin this essay, on the morning of my last full day of mourning over the choice my fellow Americans made for President in the two elections preceding the one whose winner will be inaugurated tomorrow, I find myself haltingly returning to practices that marked my life before those two elections gave us the President whose last full day this essay marks. I say “haltingly” because after eight years I feel a bit unsure whether my old practices will feel as good as I remember them, not to mention how difficult it is to think that tomorrow will actually come and the Emperor With Neither Clothes Nor Brains will actually go.

Which is all to say that instead of turning on the news as soon as I got out of bed to find out what he had screwed up overnight, I played some Pink Floyd. Before he arrived, I used to refer to my house as “WPNK – All Pink Floyd, All the Time” Since he arrived, I just haven’t felt like celebrating – even though I have been a policy wonk for several decades.

Happily – now that’s also a word I haven’t used for a long time – “Comfortably Numb” still sounds great, particularly as I discover that I am no longer feeling uncomfortably numb – even if the problems that he and his supporter s created and left behind are serious enough to make anyone capable of paying attention both uncomfortable and numb.

So does “Wish You Were Here” – sound great, that is. It’s my favorite Floyd song. It’s the song that initially motivated this essay. You see, for months I had been planning to be in DC this morning, getting ready for celebrating his departure and Obama’s inauguration. I wanted to be there, less so I could say “I was there”; instead so I would add my full 1.0 person to the visual body count that the world could see attesting to the fact of Obama’s inauguration and his predecessor’s ignominious rejection.

But, concerns raised by people around me finally convinced me that having Parkinson’s meant I wouldn’t be “up to” the rigors of weather, and crowd, and trek to distant port-a-potties – after somehow getting from my friends’ house to the Mall. So, as Floyd sang “Wish You Were Here”, I sang – sort-of, with different words: “Wish I Were There”.

But then I started contemplating the difference between “here” and “there”. It occurred to me that there was no point, no specific place, along the way from where I live to Washington where I would leave “here” and enter “there”, that there would be no sign anywhere along20 the way that would read precisely “There…” and then indicate the distance to “There”. [Of course, there would be many signs indicating distance to DC.] Likewise, people on the other side of the highway would encounter no signs informing them of the distance to “Here”.

After pondering these observations, I have realized that “Here” and “There” are constructions of dualistic minds. If Buddhists are right in saying that all there is is Now, then I am already “Now”, which is all that either “Here” or “There” can be. But, to indulge my unenlightened parts, for myself and even moreso for those who are disposed to count only those whom they see on their screens, I will say, “I still wish I were there, even if we already are.”