In the cemetery it is hard not to daydream. That is often the only thing you can do. “You really get to know yourself,” the guard who trained me said. He has a couple of pitbulls, a new grill, and plenty of pictures of both to share. When we were training we talked, but now that I am trained I daydream. I stand in front of a memorial and answer occasional questions from visitors, who usually crave directions. When my daydreaming is about my life (what will I do if I don’t get into grad school? where will I live after my roommates have their baby?) I guess that is getting to know myself. When my daydreaming is about something else, I’ll usually think of the scariest thing I can, which is probably also getting to know myself. It’s difficult if I open the contest up to somewhat abstract things like war or abandonment, but it’s easy if I limit it to physical objects. The scariest physical object I can think of is the B2 Spirit, or stealth bomber. Or maybe it is just mysterious and sinister, a black bottle opener hooked under the lid of a dream. The stealth bomber is invisible because it is shaped right. Radar sees by emitting electromagnetic signals, which bounce off of objects and return to the receiver, carrying news of the object’s position. The curves in the plane’s design bounce the signals, most of them, somewhere other than back toward the receiver. This accounts for part of its sinister appearance, but color has nothing to do with radar. They didn’t have to paint it such a humorless black. A stealth bomber has the radar cross-section of about a square foot, which I think means that, to a radar, it looks like a passerine bird. Yesterday evening after the visitors had all gone out to eat across the bridge, I watched one of the guards feed a grackle that he had been taming in the depths of his boredom. He was not a bird person, and I am not a military enthusiast by any stretch; I am just wondering what the worst thing they will find is when they pick through the rubble of this empire once it is razed. I guess the guard could be a bird person, but probably not. He is too young, and kind of a clown, and I appreciate his ways of fucking with tourists, hovering right on the line. Djuhherrmee? he’ll mumble at them, see if they catch his drift and answer. But they all dispersed and he started dropping sunflower seeds from a pocket in his reflective vest, coaxing the grackle that hops out from the bush a little closer to him every afternoon. The stealth bomber costs $135,000 an hour to operate but I stand here and watch this for $16 an hour. I guess if I included “operational costs” it costs a little bit more money to provide me with the uniform and, maybe, to pay all the people whose job it is to schedule, hire, and oversee my standing here, but I’m not sure how much. One person, an engineer who worked on the stealth bomber, desperately needed money, just like I do. He was going through a divorce (which I’m not) so he called the Soviet embassy and asked to meet with officials. He didn’t get very far, tried to accept $25,000 for information about the stealth bomber and was immediately arrested by the FBI agents that arrived instead. He said he was very sorry. He called his actions “disgraceful,” and was released from prison sixteen years later, but these aren’t the kinds of facts visitors ever ask for. No one seems to think anything here is particularly worrisome. No one asks who might have developed such a sinister object to hang in the sky. Maybe no one asks because they do not see it, nor do they see any other weapons except those carried by the guards at the gate, but today I can’t stop thinking about it. The B2 Spirit was developed by Northrop Grumman, the fifth largest arms dealer in the world. On my commute to my last job (as a barista: $9.50 an hour) I would drive past Northrop Grumman's headquarters, an office tower rising out of the plain beside I-495. At night it loomed over the noise wall I drove back home along. I have gotten so used to this, to being surrounded by the defense industry, that when I drove up to Bethesda with a friend a couple years ago to the tattoo shop she liked and we passed the headquarters of Lockheed Martin, the first largest arms dealer in the world, I thought nothing of it. I didn’t even notice. I don’t know where the second, third, or fourth largest arms dealers are headquartered, but there is a bell tower here that was gifted by The Netherlands at the end of World War II, and occasionally people ask about that. It is harder here than anywhere to forget that we live in the twilight of an empire; I have so much time to remember. I am just standing here, wondering what the worst thing they will find is when they pick through the rubble. I am standing in a cemetery, wondering what comes next.