Thursday, December 27, 2001

becky, rebecca, and i vs. the snotty shoe salesman

today started at eight goddamn thirty in the morning. i woke up after about four hours of sleep, so that i could drive my dad back out to manasas with my mom. fucking shit, how do i not realize when i go to bed and still have my contacts in? i peeled the contacts off of my pained eyeballs as soon as i woke up. everything was foggy, especially lamps, and my eyes were in such pain. after i got out of the shower, my vision had still yet to revert to its normal non-blurred state. i put on my glasses, put some food in my belly, and set off for manasas driving my dad in his car as my mom followed in the minivan. my dad kept nodding off throughout the drive, but would wake up to scream, "charlie, watch out," as he made that suction noise with his mouth that people make when they are the passenger and the driver keeps on almost hitting the car ahead of them. and the reason, that there were these incidents of almost ramming cars, is not because i'm a bad driver (okay, well maybe) but i could not see so great. my eyes were still in extreme pain. aisde from his hisses at our occasional near collisions, the drive was super pretty. the drive was through areas that were not overdevloped and had tons of open space and trees and the occasional farm, and it so made me wish i lived there so i could run around in the woods all day.

we dropped my dad and his car off, and then it was my turn to be the passenger. riding in my mom's minivan, spacing out, daydreaming about how cool it would be to be a farmer. i then got home and there was a message from becky with a return number this time. i was so excited, i kicked my sister offline and called becky. she was in maryland visiting relatives, and so we decided to meet halfway in dc at the mall. we met at the moonrock in the air and space museum. air and space was so insane and wild. i was waiting for becky to arrive at the moonrock and i must have been pushed out of the way at least ten times by huge scary throngs of tourists and loud children. becky finally arrived. it was only about a five minute wait, but it felt so long with all the hecticness surrouding me. and i was somewhat sick and definitly tired from my lack of sleep, and so the dynamic energy surrounding me was somewhat overwhelming. she showed up, we touched the moonrock, and made our way to the national gallery.

i hate having to entertain people that come to visit dc. that is probably, without a doubt, my least favorite thing to do. i am so bad at it, and people always expect me to show them an exciting time. i may live right outside dc, but my social activities consist of going to multiplexes and eating at suburban denny's and ihop's. it's especially frustrating trying to entertain people who, when asked, "okay so what do you want to do in dc?" respond, "i don't know, what to do you want to do?" motherfuck, you're the one that is visiting this city, i have seen everything eight thousand times and then some, don't ask me what i want to do, for the love of god, motherfucking answer the question!

but, this is the converstaion, becky and i had for way too long today:
-so, what do you want to do?
-i don't know. what do you want to do?
-i don't know. what do you want to do?

ad infinitum, with the occasional pause for the repsondant to ponder the question before regurgitating it yet again.

the national gallery was not all that fun. for some reason, i can never really have a meaningful experience at an art museum when i go with someone else. i love going by myself to museums so i can just stroll around and sit in rooms forever, and rush through other rooms that just seem blah. i went to the museums all the time over the summer, i would hike across dc from my job in eastern market when i got off work, eat some of the food i yanked from work, and wander around the nat'l gallery and hirshorn for hours and hours. but, whenever i go with someone else to an art museum it just turns into this awful, elaborate charade, wherein i pretend to be looking at the painting. oh wait, don't leave this one yet. stand and stare just a little longer. okay, on to the next one. oh, now stand in front of this one, put some serious look on your face. you do not want to look like a philistine. okay, that was a good amount of staring time right there.

and it was even more of a charade because becky did not seem interested at all, and was doing the exact same thing. and she very obviously did not want to be doing the tourist thing wandering around museums -- she wanted me to take her around and do fun city things. but guess what, i am big loser and do not do fun city things. i do fun sit on my ass at home things.

becky, bored with my company, asks me where rebecca is. what's she doing? i take the hint, and get excited because rebecca will be just as bad with ideas as me. and, i don't know why i didn't think to call her earlier. but we call rebecca, and tell her to meet us at kramerbooks in dupont circle.

so, we get there way before her, and wander around doing the same pretend to be thinking act that we had done in the art museum. we picked up books we had no interest in reading, read the back covers, and talked to each other about nonsense. we sat down in the cafe, finally too bored waiting for rebecca, and were about to resign ourselves to order food when, oh thank god, rebecca arrives.

rebecca used her magical ability that she has to infect other people with her abundant, positive energy (which unsurprising pointed out), and both me and becky perked up a lot, got exicited, decided to leave kramerbooks and fast. we wandered down conneticut ave., becky now shifting to rebecca with her "so, what do you want to do?" line of questioning. rebecca played the exact same role i had played two hours earlier, saying "i don't know, you're the one visiting, what do you want to do?" are you getting tired of hearing that, yet? imagine how tired i was of it, and yet we still had no plan of action.

so, we stop in "the other corportate coffee chain," xando, and at first are worried because there are no open tables. there was a heated porch area that no one was sitting in, but the chairs were not big and plushy. so becky thought we should just move some of the big plushy chairs out on the porch. i did not think this was such a good idea. the place is filled with uptight, hot gay men, and old, serious seeming couples. so, i fled to the other side of the store as rebecca and becky started to move one of the chairs. however, they cowered quickly as some old lady gave them an i-may-be-sixty-but-i'm-gonna-kick-yo'-ass stare. and then, magically there was a table open with big plushy chairs. we sat in the big plushy chairs, drank coffee, and gossiped for a good good while.

during this gossip session, i kept checking out the guys in xando and feeling so so inadequate. this was definitly not the new college bar of hotness. this was the real world bar of hotness, and these guys were so motherfucking hot. at new college, i think jeffery and andrew (somewhat) are super hot gay boys. but then, i go to dupont and see super hot not boys. super hot men. i was in people watching heaven at xando.

anyways, after xando, guess what converstaion we had again? i'm going to assume you're reasonably intelligent and guessed correctly and spare you another rehash of the conversation. anyways, we aruged about what to do until we decided to go see a movie. as we're walking to the movie theater, becky decides to stop in this gay male shoe store, for what reason i do not know. it's this little snobby boutique type store and the salesman just stood in the store with his arms crossed just looking straight ahead, like do not dare come into my shoe store. he was your bitchy self-absorbed gay male stereotype. becky asked how much a pair of shoes was. cross-armed, still looking straight ahead, he responds:
-blah blah blah forty.
-one four-tee, said so snotty in a way that annunciated every syllable for becky's deaf ears.

he was super dickhead, and we left the store and trash talked him and conspired evil things to do to him. we get to the theater and the movie starts at 6:30. it is about five, so we have an hour and half to kill.

yep, the what do you want to do conversation reared its head again, and we thought we'd escape the cold and snotty gay shoe salesmen and go to olsson's bookstore. we wandered around inside the store for a good forever, me and rebecca bored silly after half an hour, and we wanted to leave to walk around. becky is cold and protests. we veto by leaving her in the store, to follow us out, putting the discussion to an end.

we pass an office building with one of those circular, swirly doors where you push your way in. (does anyone know what type of door this is? i know there's a term for it, and it is driving me crazy.) so we pushed ourselves around in this door, going around in circles as a security guard sat in the lobby. we then decided to make it a little more fun, and i held tight on to the door once i was outside, making becky stuck in the circle, in between the outside and the inside. then i let free of my hold on the door and becky escaped. then i went through the circle door and rebecca tried to lock me in, but i had already gotten halfway outside the door. then this is where the real trouble starts. me and becky go through together and rebecca tries to lock us both in pushing the door in front of us towards us, and we were trying to get out, pushing our door away from us, towards her. well, the two doors broke, no longer at a ninety degree angle from each other, instead they are pressing against each other. me and becky, fearful for our very lives, push out with all of our might. and the three of us hightail it down the street, so so worried that the security guard is going to chase us and arrest us.

a couple of blocks away from the scene of the crime, we start walking, and are feeling safe enough to laugh wildly about the broken door. made giddy by our destruction, our inadvertent act of domestic terrorism, we release a stream of succesive laughs into the chilly air, interuppted only by the occasional proud rehashing of our act to each other. ha-ha's hurled at the frosty air. come on cold, we'll kick your ass with the warmth of our laughter. a battle of sorts. next day headline reading: cold ko'ed by laughter in first round. it was that wonderful laughter that is unstoppable, emitting from deep within the belly - the type you almost choke on. and it's just a so so pure emotive release. so more pure than any other expressed emotion. with a total disregard for inhibitons. just a wild laughter to express a joyous state. no no no. not to express the joyous state. the laughter is the joyous state. there is no mediating force. just pure gut.

anyways, still with a half hour or so to kill before the movie starts, we go to yet another bookstore: books a million. this bookstore, the huge corporate one, was the best yet, because it had big comfy chairs to lounge in, and because we could steal from it since it was not a local independent. we plopped down in the chairs by the magazines, reading through all the newest glossies. becky found some brad pitt stickers in teen cosmo or something, how fucking cool is that? these stickers are so groovy. they're all these pictures of brad, and one of the stickers (one which i put on my shoe) says "i love brad" in this really cool retro font.

and this month's flaunt comes with a little baggie of buttons. one says flaunt. one says diesel (the lame button). and the other one is a motherfucking button with brad pitt on it. dude, it is the coolest button ever. we each yanked a bag of buttons and wore our brad button as we made our way to the movie theater. we get there at 6:15 all excited, go up to the window to buy tickets, and are told:

-one ticket for the 7:30 showing, is that it?
-no, no. we want tickets to the 6:30.
-that show's sold out, would you like tickets to the 7:30?
-yeah (said very fatalistically)

so, we were back to that same conversation again, and kicking ourselves for not buying tickets when we were at the theater earlier to check the showtimes. but we wander around dupont again, passing the snotty shoe saleman, and decide that it is time to inflict trauma. so, we decide we are going to stare him down, imitating him in front of the store's glass windows with our arms crossed and just looking very snotty.

we're appoaching the shoe store. we keep approaching it. we're walking in front of it. we are walking past it.

we all chickend out at first, but we turn around and me and rebecca stare into the store, i quickly turn around, very scared about the shoe dude's possible reaction and instead stare at rebecca as she attempts to stare at shoe dude. but she keeps laughing, and we continue our staring game for a while, but he goes into the back of the store and fails to even notice our antics. with time to kill and feeling freezing cold we duck into yet another bookstore. the more things change, the more things stay the same. right back to square one: we spend a half hour or so wandering around kramerbooks. becky asks the time. 7:17. so, we bolt to the theater, take our seats, and watch the royal tanenbaums, which was very decent, so much better than anderson's earlier two films (of which, i was not such a big fan). but this movie was really on point, and yeah yeah ha-ha good deep from the belly type funny in parts. and it had bill murray, even though it was just a tiny, dramatic role -- bill murray is definitly one of my favorite actors -- he's so fucking yee-hah. plus the soundtrack was all these awesome folk songs, and so it was defintily one of the better movies i have seen this year.

we then boarded the metro, worn out from the cold, the bookstores, the what do you want to do conversations, and snotty shoe salesmen. we all rode together until metro center, at which point becky continued on the red line. me and rebecca hugged becky good-bye, and waited for our transfers. we talked some more while waiting, deciding that we are going to try to get jobs at pirg. rebecca's going to call tomorrow. i showed off my brad pitt sticker to her some more. and then my yellow line to huntington came. i said bye to rebecca as she waited for her train to come. i boarded the metro very happy, thinking about what a good day it had been, and started petting my brad pitt sticker to entertain myself on the metro ride home.

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