Howler Monkey

It was like a scene from the movies. We were on our cell phones, trying to find each other, and then BAM! I must have sounded like a howler monkey, because my voice went up into the stratosphere (or, as a trumpet player, the Faddisphere) as I looked at Prianka for the first time in years. She’d lost over 100 pounds, due to diet and becoming one of those freak runners that’s training for a 50k. But she was still the same old Pri that I know. We picked up like five minutes had passed between us. I hugged her so hard I didn’t want to let go, and then we walked from the Columbia Heights Metro station to a great vegan restaurant. Seriously the best facon I have ever had in my entire life. I don’t know what they put in it, but I am almost sure it is crack. It was the first vegan bacon I’d ever had where I was like, “could you make me six pans….. thanks.” I got what was called a Texas burger- bacon and cheese on a whole wheat bun and a patty held together with sunflower seeds and awesome.

After lunch, we hiked through the zoo because it was close and I wanted to see the pandas for the first time since I was eight, but the Panda House was closed. The reason I haven’t seen the pandas since I was eight is that I’m pretty sure the Panda House was closed the entire time I lived here before….. The only other thing that interested me was the Reptile House, but even I chickened out at the last minute. Some of the snakes and lizards are the most beautiful in the world, but others are from the country of “Nope.” So instead, we just stayed on the main trails. I was telling Pri that when I lived in Portland, I’d become somewhat of a hiker for real, that I was comfortable with switchbacks and incline, and she freaked out, because she has never been able to convince any of her other friends to go with her. This is because hiking for the uninitiated is ALSO from the country of “Nope.” So we’re planning hiking trips and going to see Armin Van Buren and Childish Gambino this summer.

She and Elena, her fiancee, are getting married on May 16th, so we only got to spend about four hours together before it was time for her to go home and get back to the planning, because of course now it’s crunch time/freakout mode. I know four hours seems like a long time, but we’d not seen each other for, honestly, I don’t know how many years. Maybe 2008? I forget. But sufficed to say, it’s been a long time and the epic first convo could have gone on for four more. We talked about the places we are in our lives, and Pri Diddy and I are walking the same path, but we’re at different points. She’s a lot further along than I am, especially since she’s discovered the incredible endorphins that come with exercise. I told her that I was finding the same thing- that I walk at least four miles a day to ensure that not only do I get endorphins, I get a fair amount of sunshine as well. The only problem is that at four miles a day, the tread is already starting to wear off on my shoes…. not necessarily something to be proud of, per se, but it does show A for effort.

Unfortunately for me and my weird eyesight, today I tripped over a raised manhole and scraped the hell out of my knee, ripping a hole in the nicest pants I own (I dressed up for company). Prianka was so great. She’s all like, “do you need to get some new pants?” I was touched that she’d take time out of her day to help me shop, but at the same time, the object of the game was to walk and talk with her. I could deal with a hole in the knee of my pants if it meant more time on the trails with her. A little road rash never hurt anybody, and when I checked my knee when I got home, it was not nearly as severe as it felt in the moment.

And now I am on the front porch of my house, as per my usual, relaxing at the patio table and looking out over the neighborhood. It’s peaceful and quiet because Mike, Hayat, and I are the only ones home. Mike is washing his car as I type this, and the soap smells like cherries and apples. The sun is shining brightly…… outside, too.


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