Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Bloodstained Pillow Case

When I was a little kid, my family and I went on a trip to Washington, D.C. We toured a number of historically significant spots, including the house that President Lincoln was brought to after being shot in the head at Ford's Theatre: the Peterson House. Within the house, on display, was the bloodstained pillow case that Lincoln's head had rested on.

Years later, when I was in seventh grade, I went on an extended school field trip to D.C. When I found out that we would be touring the Peterson house, I excitedly told my classmates about the bloodstained pillow case that we would be viewing. My classmates were thrilled. History was boring, but blood was awesome.

When we entered the bedroom in the Peterson House where Lincoln had lain, everyone crowded toward the bed to get a glimpse of the infamous pillow I had told them about.

It wasn't there.

I had no explanation for the absence of the morbid artifact, and a nearby tour guide looked mystified when I asked about it. My classmates were understandably disappointed and took their anger out on me by accusing me of being a crazy liar with a sick imagination. I began to doubt the accuracy of my memory. For many years I had no choice but to accept my classmates prognosis; I was obviously crazy and ought to be ashamed for having such a creepy imagination.

Then, not long ago, I was sorting through some old photographs and I came across a stack of images from my family's original trip to the capital. Among them, I found this picture:

Blood. Stained. Pillow.

Ever since I found this photograph, I've fantasized about bringing it to the next class reunion. In my fantasy, I push the photo in the face of every person who went on that trip, jabbing my finger at the faint image of the bloodstain and screaming, "Blood! See? Blood on the pillow! There is BLOOD on the PILLOW!"

Then they'll all feel like fools for calling me crazy. Ha.


Noel said...

why would they ever take this out of display???? that's the coolest!

Andi said...

I often find myself saying, "Blood! See? Blood on the pillow! There is BLOOD on the PILLOW!" But that's because John is not good at shaving his head.

Anonymous said...

I have just had this same discussion , but with my Mom (who was on the trip with me when I saw the bloody pillow)! I too began to think maybe my memory was wrong and that I made this up. Thanks so much for finding that picture!!! -Kim