The Capital and The Pervert

Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
Trip End Sep 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
GR Thompson Wildlife Preserve

Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

            DAY FIFTY-ONE:  Kuntz has to be up and out by six-thirty, and in doing so, he tosses us fifteen dollars for two days of diesel and we drive him to the bus stop because we are nice people.  Though I do like Kuntz, he leaves a bitter taste in our mouths (as is obvious in the last two entries), though he may have a chance of redeeming himself later if he makes it back onto our bus from New York.  We then drive to the Safeway parking lot to leave Pearl for the day, but before doing so we sleep for an extra couple of hours.  Boring, so far.            
            We make the long walk up to the metro station where we'd dropped Kuntz earlier, and take the hour long train to the District of Colombia.  We get off the stop and I call Lawa Gordo, one of my very oldest of friends, who is in her third year of medical school in the city.  We decide to meet for lunch, but in waiting and considering the potential cost of a sitdown, Shmark and Cornbread opt instead for my bitter rival, Subway, after which point they go off to take in a few monuments.  Lawa and I meet at Five Brothers, a famous hamburger spot she says is meant to be the east coast In 'n Out, and they have birch beer as a fountain drink so I can’t complain (is it much different than root beer?  I don’t know). The burgers and fries are good but the conversation is filth – we’re talking about how women tend to poop all over themselves while giving birth, and how she is planning to receive a baby (the way she describes it makes her sound like a pervert taking a toilet seat cover: hands into the vagina, fingers on the baby’s ears, pull up, then pull down), but it’s of course good to see her until she gets us miserably lost in a city in which she’s lived for three years en route to the city’s center.  Did I mention she’s very short?  So by the time we get to the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the others have been waiting for forty-five minutes and she herself has to leave to ready for another 12-hour overnight at the hospital.  What a life, that of medical students.

            The Smithsonian is quite amazing, don’t you think, even if it’s mostly a conglomeration of popular culture?  We see the Ruby Slippers and Clinton’s sax and Lincoln’s top hat, learning in solid detail of the kind of life Old Abe lived and how cool he seemed to be, and we even get to see Julia Child’s kitchen!  Julia Child!  She has a remarkably strange voice.

            Cornbread’s itching to get going so we leave, then realize that leaving would put us in the grips of rush hour, so we go to the Air and Space Museum to touch the moon rock.  The best part of my experience is in the Early Flight Exhibit, learning of all the ingénues that tried and failed to get man in the skies.  I can’t express well enough of how much I love seeing these whimsical sketches, seeing imagination surpass knowledge in ways that seem impossible today, imagining French thinkers standing at the edge of a cliff, clutching palm frond paddles or swirly planks of wood jimmied futilely to flap, then leaping off before scores of onlookers, expecting to be the first to fly, then being sent catastrophically downward and into their own demise.  It’s also great to remark upon the simplicity of the Wright model, of how clever and efficient they were, of how many plans they trumped that day in Kitty Hawk, etc.  Learning is cool.  And Leonardo DiCaprio narrates the Imax movie that we didn’t see.

            Back on the ranch, we go to Safeway for some supplies – beans and melon and wine and apples – to set forth into the wilderness we’ve been missing for these last few weeks of city life.  Ultimately we settle on a plot of land that is called an animal preserve, but is really just an area where people can go to hunt legally, and again there is a booming orchestra of insects in the trees that lull us to sleep.  By morning, I’m taking a urine all groggy-eyed, and must focus to notice a deer a few feet into the woods watching me do so with great curiosity; tell your friends, Madame Pervert, but please do be discreet. 

            This entry wasn’t so interesting, but at least it was short.
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