Sunday, April 17, 2005

Most people go this time of year for the cherry blossoms.

Next week hubby goes to D.C. on a business trip. I usually save up plane fare and go along. This time I am staying home so that I can attend a scholarship contest with my #5. (more on that Tuesday)

I enjoy D.C. It's so different from where I live and there is a definite sense of anxiety there. All kinds! For instance the idea of the traffic. Everyone has a car, but there isn't one parking space in the tri-state area, and they drive like maniacs. They race from signal to signal and honk horns like no where I have ever been. I always feel like I am in a movie there. The pedestrians are lords of this jungle, dressed to the nines in heels and brief cases, and when they get the chance they just cut into traffic and dare bones to break. (hence a major part of the honking) People are everywhere, tons of them and they all have someplace extremely important to go. I am fascinated by the numbers of junior high kids who spew out of buildings and museums on an hourly rotation like the children of Zeus. Most of them wearing F.B.I. shirts. This causes me to wonder how one distinguishes the real F.B.I. from the junior high kids during a riot.

The last time I was there I was in a women's restroom at the subway station. A group of F.B. I. agents came through the door, one with an incredibly swollen tongue, another with great wisdom. "Haa Mahhhm" "No girl you got to get that thing working in yo mouth better than that or you gonna get yoself killed." "HAA MAHM" "I said talk better not louder. You gonna get killed." "Do. You. Thin. Ma. Mahm. Wi. Ril-eh. No-tith?" (replies with just a hard look) "Well at least it looks cool. I wish I got mine done. Man! I am SO stupid!" "Ah Wi dusth kep pwactithee uh ti I thoun goouh" "Yeah girl, she never gonna fine out! By the time we get off the plane, you be all done swellin'." I was in the stall and even I knew what had happened. Unless mom is completely deaf, that girl gonna get huhsef killed.

I love how everyone there looks important. You just know that chick on the subway with the briefcase is a spy, or at least hoping to be one. Then the total republican clean cut Mr. Armani suit with Italian leather shoes - what the heck? #1 he's on the subway going the wrong direction for that suit. #2 he's probably from some communist country and is a spy! There's the crazy person who is mumbling to herself and checking the chain count in her cable knit sweater. Definitely a spy! The whole time I am there I have Peter Gunn going in my head.

I walked home from the subway to the hotel. What was I thinking? It was like 5 city blocks and I thought to myself "why not? It's silly to pay for a cab for just 5 blocks!" Well, it was about 10:30 at night and raining. Raining hard. I had on my new suede leather coat. I replayed the Sienfeld when Jerry turns his coat inside out and then decides not to and ruins his coat to walk home in the rain with Elaine's dad. I kept rationalizing the cost of the cab to the rain and the walk. "Cows don't shrink in the rain. Cows still look the same after it rains. I am not paying for a cab!" So I head out and my coat got completely soaked. I felt like a drown rat by the time I got home, but it was the experience of it. After about a block I noticed that the street lamps no longer were there and that the streets became dark, narrow and full of dark alleys. "Brilliant S'mee! Girl, you gonna get yosef killed!" Too late to turn back now I walked faster until I could catch up with a couple of women I saw about 1/2 block ahead of me. I approached them and asked if I could join them in their walk.

The thing about D.C. is that it is a very international city. These women couldn't speak English and they thought I was some crazed person. They look scared and took off like you can't believe. "This is reassuring! Perhaps if the bad guys come I can just mumble to myself and begin counting the ribs in my now soaking cuffs. They'll think I am nuts and move on!" So I walk faster and faster and eventually get to a place where I can see the hotel. By the time I get inside and up to our room I am completely drenched, dripping like I stepped out of a pool and my once camel coloured suede leather bomber is a nice chocolate brown. "Don't they make chamois out of suede?" Maybe not. ugh. "Man! I am SO stupid!" Hubby walks in almost right behind me, in plenty of time to see me peeling dead cow off my now cold (but alive!) body. I explain everything to him and I get a pretty good reprimand on the dangers of D.C. at night in our neighborhood and after I dry off and take a warm shower he is there waiting to give my legs a good rub down. That's a good guy!

Moral of the story: Next time you get an opportunity to visit D.C. enjoy the anxiety, the people, the crazy drivers. Catch a few spies on the subway, covertly listen to the F.B.I. agents who run from place to place and pierce their parentally unattended tongues, and enjoy a walk in the rain with your favorite cow. After all of that, go home and retell the adventure to your more than generous spouse. Know that however long the plane ride home, by the time you get off - you be all done swellin. And you will be glad that you lead a dull life in the SoCAL desert.

add to sk*rt

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