Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yesterday, I rode with Kim down to DC, she moving to North Carolina, me just wanting to go on a little road trip. The drive down 95 involved a stop at a Walt Whitman rest center, lots of classic rock, and steady conversation about various subjects, namely though our lives. I was to be dropped off in DC where I was supposed to have several hours to kill until the last Chinatown bus left and was planning on perhaps visiting a gay bar or two. Instead, we didn't do things right, didn't switch to 495, and by doing so, possibly did do things right. 95 bypasses DC by a hair and instead takes you over the Woodrow Wilson bridge into Alexandria, the town I grew up in. I started to lose my mind as we went over the Woodrow Wilson bridge, seeing Old Town on the other side, these places and roads second nature to me, encountering the site of memories which at this point in my life are so distant seeming and which suddenly made themselves present unexpectedly. Had I been planning to visit Alexandria, it would have probably been less emotional to do so, but our ending up there had something of fate to it, of magicalness, perhaps ending up here was why I had jumped at this opportunity to go on a random road trip, that this might have all been supposed to him, the Walt Whitman rest stop, the drive, and the encounter with my past in such an assaulting way in Alexandria. We, because we were so close, went to my high school, and that was totally mind blowing and weird and I got butterflys in my stomach, unable to handle being at this place that seemed so alien to me but at which so much important and formative things had occurred. Four years of my life were spent at the place and to be there all of a sudden on a day when only a day earlier I had planned on sitting in a cubicle at work on this day seemed so strange. We then drove past my old house, past the library I worked at for two years, and then past the school right behind my house that really seemed to bring the symbolism of this trip full circle, Walt Whitman Middle School. It was upon these soccer fields that I used to wander at night since my backyard abutted them, these soccer fields that I loved to masturbate on in the dark of night. We then drove to Mount Vernon, which is right down the road, drove along the Potomac, talked about the potential for deer on the road, me dismissing it as very rare to see deer on the Parkway. On the drive back from Mount Vernon to the Metro stop, we passed a deer, dead, obviously just hit. A late night dinner in Chinatown followed where I drank some beer, read my book, and struggled with chopsticks. On the bus, there was almost a fight between the driver and some other alpha male, the two threatening each other with fist gestures, the driver still mad at Baltimore and trying to throw him off the bus, threatening to punch his head. I fell back asleep once things cooled and soon was in New York. I would occasionally wake up to see that we were flying past every car on the road. The drive, which with Kim took five and a half hours, on this crazy bus took less than three and a half. I think the bus driver was obviously on drugs of some sort.

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