Tonight when I got off work, I realized that I missed “home.” The Waffle House is in Dumfries, VA, so I saw my old haunts the entire way here…. even my old office building when I got lost trying to find my way off the toll road (I don’t have a tag yet). So I filled up with Shell just for spite. Actually, that was a joke. My time at ExxonMobil was pretty awesome, actually. I felt like I’d sold my soul to the devil, but at the same time I’ve never had kinder coworkers, ones that keep in touch with me to this day… though neither one of them live here anymore.
When I passed Little River Turnpike, though, that feeling of home was complete. Kathleen and I took that route every morning to get around the traffic on 95, so familiar to me that I could probably drive it blindfolded… though I won’t. I really love NoVA, but Maryland was the safer choice all around. Even Kathleen and I wanted to move there back in the day, because it seemed like they were much more tolerant of the whole gay thing… and they were.
Richmond controls Virginia’s laws, and in St. Bob’s country, you’re not going to see a lot of progress unless absolutely forced to participate. The DC area is tolerant of all, even Republicans, and when you live there, you kind of like to forget Richmond exists… or at least, I did. ExxonMobil has this funds match thingme where if you give money to a non-profit, they’ll match you dollar for dollar. So one of my coworkers gave that money to the Whitman-Walker clinic…. literally AND tongue in cheek because nothing was funnier to us than ExxonMobil donating money to them.
Then there was the day that a drunk Native American shot through the Alyeska pipeline and I was sitting in a meeting where this slideshow was being played in front of me. All the lights were off, the pictures projected practically lifesize on the wall, and the entire room turned when I said, a little too loudly, “UNCLE MATT!” Luckily, they laughed. My uncle Matt is a safety inspector for the Alyeska, and he travels from Fairbanks to Valdez, thus ending up in our picture show.
All these memories are just flooding out, and I feel *fantastic* (say that like Nine). I am back in my element. When I passed Woodbridge, I remembered my fairy godson, Joey, being born and walking out of the hospital crying because that Sunday was Father’s Day and my friend Rob (Joey’s father) was standing right next to me and Kathleen as we were walking out. I spent so much time with Joey, and he wouldn’t remember it, but I sure do. I remember learning the particular dance that would calm him down, and the sweet smell at the top of his head.
The first night I met Dana, she told me that her parents live in Dumfries, and I told her that the only thing I knew about Dumfries was that it was the closest Waffle House to DC. I am sure that there is a Waffle House in Maryland, but I didn’t look. I wanted a trip down memory lane, or memory freeway, as it were.
I am so happy that I moved back, and at the same time, I don’t regret anything. But I feel that something was waiting for me here, and now I have to find out what it is. For now, though, I’m going to eat cheese n’ eggs, raisin toast with apple butter, grits, and hash browns covered smothered and topped.