Four days or so without cell phone or email, and a following period of time largely Internet free. Surprisingly comforting. I have to admit, when I got into DC Saturday, I didn’t want to charge up my phone and didn’t for another day. I spent the three days prior on the road between St. Louis and here, so when I got into town I was stinking and ready for some stability. Thanks to DC Jerry, I’ve set up the first nest since Denver. He has a beautiful condo in Alexandria, just south of DC, complete with a big screen TV, high-speed Internet, cable, and other amenities that come with years of schooling toward a big-time job at the Pentagon. Jerry is a great host, despite his tendency to be recluse. I think he’s a little spooked by having roommates for the first time in years, but deep down inside, he loves the company.
I did say ‘roommates,’ by the way. I managed to steal a girl from a small town outside of St. Louis. Strangely enough, she’s made guest appearances in this trip while I was in Denver, her hometown in southern Illinois, and Chicago. Each time she managed to steal the show, so it just made sense for me to dump some bags out of the Honda and make room for Sara during the rest of the ride. So she put in two weeks notice, said her goodbyes to a flock of people to whom she means a great deal, and grabbed a seat. Jerry was kind enough to extend the invitation to her (although I admit, the way I framed it, he didn’t have much choice). A highly unexpected turn of events, but one that happened naturally and inevitably, as though it were the only option. And I guess it was, really. More later.
Rewinding to the interlude between towns. We spent a night with Sara’s friend in Lexington, KY, a surprisingly cool college town. The first I saw of her friend Bradley was when she walked through the door of her house and full-force kicked her dog in the side. This is my kind of girl. The dog shredded her roommate’s couch and the entire living room was covered with puffy clouds of cushion stuffing. I thought it was really funny. It was way funnier when she kicked the dog.
The second night between cities was in the New River Gorge in West Virginia. The motto of W. Virginia is “Mountaineers are always free.” The motto of W. Virginia should be, “Mountaineers are always fat assholes.” Still, the campsite was beautiful. Fireflies at dusk, thick soupy air settling in thick damp trees. Bottle of wine and real Kentucky bourbon.
And now, DC. Our nation’s capitol. It’s always great to see Jerry. He’s been my best friend for years, and that allows me to take great advantage as his houseguest. I made him eat fake meat tacos the other day. I call his big stupid dog a “fucking asshole” regularly. And I take great pleasure in moving objects in his house, just a few inches, to see if his OCD forces him to move them back. It always does. I share a room with his ferret, which Sara inexplicably calls his faggot.
I’m now working at defending ferrets for the Human Rights Campaign, and caribou by defending ANWR (sorry Face, I know you’re dying to tear that shit up). Jerry keeps joking about how we’d better be gone in a few days. We’ll see what happens when the jokes stop.