A Walk Through the City is a Metaphor for How Messed Up We Are

Jennifer R. Povey
3 min readApr 18, 2022
Photo by Andrea Cau on Unsplash

So, my landlords are doing improvements to my apartment. Today, they decided bathroom access was a luxury I could do without (as was silence). So I decided on an “errands day.”

I needed to go fix an issue with my D.C. library card in person, so I headed over to the MLK Library, then walked through downtown to my favorite ice cream parlor. So what if it’s in the 40s and raining? As I said to the person staring at me and going “But it’s cold.” “I don’t care.”

(For the curious, Jeni’s. You might be able to get the pints in your grocery store. Excellent ice cream, high quality ingredients, delightfully weird flavors that change frequently).

This was a walk through a downtown that is still recovering from COVID. And I saw two things that are metaphors…one was obvious and the other took more unpacking…for how messed up our society is.

The Guys Painting Over the Climate Rally Poster

D.C. has protests. It’s what we do. Everyone comes here to wave signs. Apparently there’s a climate and social justice rally next Saturday. I say apparently because there were posters for this on the base of every lamp post I passed. DC has those lamp posts with the broad bases, and it’s fairly common for people to post stuff on them.

They’d used a pretty tough glue, making the posters hard to remove. Which meant that one business that didn’t want the sign had hired two guys to paint over it.

In asphalt colored paint.

I can’t think of a better metaphor for climate denial than literally paving over a sign like that.


Photo by author

It’s hard to see, but that sign is for Sotheby’s International Realty. If you have to ask how much the…put it this way I wasn’t sure I could afford to walk past the place on my income.

In the foreground is the Whitman-Walker Health at 1525 clinic. Yes, that’s an AIDS clinic. Well, now they do a lot of other things too, including primary care and providing gender…



Jennifer R. Povey

I write about fantasy, science fiction and horror, LGBT issues, travel, and social issues.