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June 29, 2008

Wet, Hot, Sticky American Summer


Seeing as how this is my first time living on the Right Coast since the mid 1980s (B-more represent!), one of my goals for the summer when I moved out here was to check out the bigger cities on the eastern seaboard that I have either never been to or not been to in decades. In that vein, on Saturday I tossed a change of clothes and a copy of Guns and Ammo into my briefcase, and hopped on the (Chinatown) bus to our nation's capital, Washington, D.C. It promised to be a wet, hot, American summer—if you know what I mean.

The Chinatown Bus and D.C. Greetings (from a Bum)

The pleasant weather I had noted in my last entry had given way to crippling heat and humidity by Saturday morning when I set out, and I was sweaty and hot by the time I found my way to Chinatown via various construction detours on the subway. Having heard terrible things about the Chinatown buses, I was rather surprised that it was a coach with comfortable, albeit small, seats and central air. Once we got out of New York, the trip was uneventful and I slept almost the entire five hours to D.C. We arrived in a torrential rain storm that rivaled those I had seen in Miami or HOTlanta, but by the time I had gotten off the bus near D.C. Chinatown, the rain had stopped.

Having not encountered any bums in the one block walk to the Metro station, I fully expected to be accosted once underground. Fortunately, the D.C. homeless community did not disappoint. A bum who was shaking DT-style with a cup of change was singing songs to people and asking for money for his performance. Fittingly, as I walked by, the bum broke out in an awful rendition of Wonderwall by Oasis. What can I say? Kids and bums. They love me. It's pheromones, I tell you!

Hope, Change, and 1960s Liberals

After meeting up HFK1 and company, we headed to a roof deck party where I proceeded to sweat some more, and then made our way to a so-called Obama house party where people were gathering to talk about change (or whatever). After a few brief and consummately awkward interactions with randoms who had showed up to this event, we watched a video about grassroots involvement and people crying about hope and change. Needless to say, there was no irony, only earnestness, which in general is a decidedly unacceptable state of affairs.

All that would have been fine, however, had the floor not been opened for people to share. As I have long maintained, nothing good can ever come out of sharing ones feelings, and never is this more true than when in a room of strangers. Between the old lady who ought to have been fighting the good wrong fight on the (much-loathed) Berkeley, Calif., City Council embarking on a remarkably trite diatribe about this Administration and the guy who claimed (in a room of mostly women) to have been eating a late (3 p.m.) breakfast dressed in a wife-beater, it was clear that my hatred of people is not a partisan affair. Quite appropriately, the party ended (for us) with a conversation about District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. ___ (2008) (the gun case), with a dude from Texas. Yee haw.

Dance Party and Four to a Bed

The remainder of the day was basically an exercise in sweating. With temperatures in excess of 90° F even after nightfall and the relative humidity showing no signs of abating, wet, hot, and sticky was the name of the game as we went from V-$'s house to the bars and back. Highlights (or low points, as you will) included pong, Top 40 songs, bad dancing (courtesy of yours truly), and making it rain—with business cards, not cash.

Consistent with the wet, hot, sticky theme of my trip to D.C., we slept four to a (queen) bed. I still do not really know what inspired this awful idea, but I presume it had something to do with the fact that there were several people in town for the evening and simply not enough space. At least, I hope that was the reason. Otherwise, it was just another kinky-in-theory, not-at-all-in-practice episode that has most regrettably come to define my (necessarily futile) existence.

More Wet, Hot, and Sticky?

The next morning, after grabbing breakfast with Bureaucrat 310, I was back on the bus to New York. In retrospect, the twenty-one hours I spent in D.C. were not sufficient, considering I had not been there in at least fifteen years. I did not see everyone I knew out there, nor did I take a single picture (which is pretty unusual for me). I will probably go back again sometime this summer, and do the tourist thing. And for damn sure, I am not ever sleeping four to a bed as little spoon again. There is only so much wet, hot, and sticky that a person can handle, and I reached my limits this weekend.

^ 1 Short for Hostface Killa, which incidentally I did not need to make up; it is so much easier when friends devise their own rap monikers.


for god's sake, please tell me you were spooned by wet, hot, and sticky females?

It was good to see you, and I'm sorry I didn't hang out more. If you want to come down during July, I'll have a one bedroom to myself and you're welcome to crash. We can wear wife beaters and talk about change we can believe in.

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