Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday night return

Back from a great three-day weekend in greater D.C., catching up with a different friend or group of friends each day. It's relaxing to get out to suburbia for a few nights, to shock yourself with the silence that comes from a sleeping residential street lined with single homes that hide their secrets at night or otherwise tease you with open windows and see-through doors during the day. The fascination with "mysterious" neighbors, or otherwise the unannounced visits of the neighbor boy, a little four-year-old come to question you about the small dead animal in your backyard, seen through a lattice-like fence. The zen of watering a landscaped garden every day. The joy of seeing a new bloom. The fear of having a plant die while the owners are off on their summer travels. 2Amy's. The Grill from Ipanema. Chi-Cha Lounge. The National Portrait Gallery. Mexicali Blues. Dr. Dremo's Taphouse. The strange feeling of walking through the spotty nightlife of the suburban sprawl land that is Clarendon. Buckwheat blueberry pancakes in the morning, independent iced coffee drinks in the afternoon. The long ride home, the relief at seeing the skyline once again, the still somewhat bemused feeling that this is home, these skyscrapers, this grungy subway with its complex, grown-up map and unpredictability and no digital signs to read off the minutes. The first few minutes of being back in my apartment, when the noise of the city is so salient, and the second few minutes when the murmur becomes the norm once again, punctuated occasionally by cicadas and crickets. The cooler evenings, the inevitable approach of fall.

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