It’s official: I am losing my mind. For too long this week I was stuck in the 1600’s writing my Insiders’ Guide chapter on Richmond history. Hey, I grew up in Maryland and I swear they didn’t mention one word about Jamestown in my schooling, so it’s a lot to get my head around…only to have to slog through the 1700’s etc. etc.

As far as I can tell, Richmond history is one long painful and traumatic episode after another–Indian annihilation, slavery, war, segregation, and on and on. And according to my instructions, I’m supposed to “keep it light.”  That’s almost funny. Yes, Seinfeld did have some laughs at the expense of the Holocaust, but I’m not willing to go there.

I’ve actually choked up at my computer more than once writing about Richmond, and I daresay it’s not because my writing is so heartbreakingly beautiful. I suppose it could be due to the thought that I have something like 25 more chapters to write, 100 restaurants to review and Richmond nightlife to discover. Hmm, could be a problem. There’s just been so much stupid pain here–not all of it Richmond’s fault–as the world, country, and state all had a hand in the sweep of history, but I usually choke up writing about the people who stuck it out, who stood up or walked out or sat-in to prove their point. And more people know the name of the punk who beat up his girlfriend and did community service here in Richmond (I know his name, too, but I’m not going to put it here.) than any of these worthy people.  That’s just the way it is, to quote another Virginian.

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