I Live Here Now

It’s amazing how fast I have acclimated to living in DC. It’s like I just dropped in and picked up where I left off. It’s a weird feeling that I’m NOT homesick. I mean, I miss my family, but outside of that I am so glad to be here that I cannot EVEN. I am still looking for a job, but I have some leads. I went in and talked to the managers at Five Guys, Starbucks, and Petco. All of them have online applications, but I wanted them to remember my name when the electronic submission comes through. I would prefer the job at Petco because I have run my own fish tanks since I was a kid and it’s insane how much useless knowledge I have running about since I didn’t bring my fish tank with me. I may need to get a goldfish bowl for my room, because it’s amazing how much I miss them. They’re my inspiration when I get writer’s block. I just watch them until an idea pops into my head. I don’t remember who said it, but one of my favorite quotes is “what partners of writers don’t understand is that we’re actually working harder when we’re staring out the window.” For me, it’s staring at a fish tank. We had a gift exchange at Alert Logic when I was there, and one of my coworkers got me a one gallon aquarium soI could have a betta on my desk. I named him Tester, because of course I did.

Even without a fish tank, I get to stare at plenty, though. When I am feeling writer’s block, I go to the Zoo. As long as I have a full battery on my laptop, I have plenty of time to watch animals and get back to it. It’s amazing how much inspiration one gets from an elephant.

Actually, my favorite animal is the giraffe. No kidding. I think they are the most beautiful creatures in the world, and I could look at them all day. Ditto with Zebras. There’s a reason my favorite gum is Fruit Stripes. 🙂 Both animals just feed my soul, and seeing them play in the sunshine while I’m thinking is such a good feeling. I love this city, because there is so much inspiration for FREE. If I had to pay Houston prices to look at giraffes, it just wouldn’t happen. I think it’s almost 20 or 30 bucks to go to the Zoo in Houston, and it’s like a Zoo with one dog….. a Shih Tzu. After I pay the admission fee, I am intimidated by $4.00 bottles of water.

However, I will GLADLY pay whatever they want for drinks at our Zoo, because hey, I got in for free. They also have one of my favorite foods…. ice cream with M&Ms in it, in a vending machine so you can still eat it when the Zoo closes and it becomes, for all practical intents and purposes, a jogging trail. It’s almost enough to make me start running…… almost. I really need to run on a treadmill first, because walking all over DC has given me shin splints like a mofo. I have Mobic and Tylenol on board and it still hurts, mostly because Mobic will stop the pain, but it won’t keep me from walking and re-injuring myself. I can’t not walk. It’s my lifeblood, the thing that gives me endorphins and stories for later. I meet people. I talk to people. I hear their stories and because I probably won’t see them again, it’s a stranger on a train interaction (sometimes literally) that I feel okay writing about because I don’t even know their names.

The only thing I don’t like is that I look approachable, and I am asked by homeless people for money ALL THE TIME. I don’t give them any, but I am convinced that there is some sort of jackass magnet on my forehead that says, “please tell me your whole life story.” But then again, as an introvert, I kind of want to hear it. I’m trying to find the balance between “I don’t have time- fuck off” and “tell me everything about you in 20 minutes.” BECAUSE THEY WILL. And then there are those people who tell me their stories whether I want to hear them or not. Yesterday a lady told me all about her grandkids in Minnesota. The baby is cute (really? Never heard that one.). Generally, those people are called “tourists.” Locals have their headphones in, and do not want to engage. I don’t do that anymore, because when I can’t hear the overhead, I tend to go a couple of stops past the one I originally intended. Since I don’t have anywhere to be yet, it doesn’t bother me. If I was commuting into work, that would be a major problem. So, better to leave off the headphones and listen to the conductor.

I took a break from writing and now I’m at Teaism in Dupont Circle, or as we gays lovingly call it, “The Fruit Loop.” Literally walking around Dupont Circle is the reason I don’t have a car. If you saw it, you’d know why. I have been stuck in that mofo before, and as a result, I never took my car into DC again. I had to have a car last time we were here because I lived in between Van Dorn on the Blue Line and King Street on the Yellow Line, so walking was convenient to neither- the worst place in DC ever. I didn’t mean my neighborhood. I mean that if you don’t live within walking distance of the Metro, you live in DC, but you’re not doing it right. DC is not meant for driving. It’s too small, and everyone who already lives in the District has taken up the majority of the parking (and rightfully so). So when you talk about the Virginia and Maryland cars as well, you’re talking road rage as you circle the block fifty times and you’re 30 minutes late for a meeting and 2 minutes from the restaurant.

Silver Spring is the first stop in Maryland, so everything is convenient to me. I go into DC all the time just because I like it, but I don’t really need to- most of the stores in which I stop are either walking distance or a short bus ride, and there is a bus stop at the end of my street. For those in the know, I live right off Colesville and Indian Spring. The neighborhood is very well-to-do and safe, kind of like living in the suburbs and yet, doesn’t feel like it. For my Houstonians, it’s kind of like living in Bellaire or West University, because Silver Spring is still inside The Beltway. It’s a nice mixture of urban and rural- not as busy as the city. It’s Portland-ish because it’s a city, and yet, laaaaaaaaid back. What do I mean by that? People will not push you down trying to get past you for the bus.

We also have a theater called The Fillmore. Stone Temple Pilots are coming, and I cannot decide whether that’s cool or I’m old.

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