Saturday morning I was up early to catch a 6:30 flight to BWI. My first trip back to DC since I moved. I had called a cab the night before and they assured me they would be here on time – they called when I was still naked but I assured them I’d be down there in about 10 minutes. When I got down stairs the taxi was driving around the parking lot and another taxi was shadowing him, my phone rang the taxi guy wanted to know which building and I told him how to find me… I also asked about the taxi taking him and he assured me he didn’t know. When we pulled out onto Thomas the other taxi turned the other way. On the way to the airport I asked if I could roll down the window in the back and he said no, “You’ll be cold” he said. I rolled my eyes at him and if I had had my coffee I might not have been as irritated as I was… but then the music started. Over his communication radio came some music from his homeland and it was all crackly and staticky and played the whole way…. arrgghh.
I got through airport security quickly enough, stood in line for coffee for over 20 minutes (they really need more coffee places) and before I knew it I was boarding the plane. The plane ride was uneventful, I slept an hour or so and read the book The Ocean at the End of the Lane. As we descended into Baltimore I noticed the leaves changing and wasn’t awed or inspired, yes, now they’re orange, gold, yellow and red… /yawn
Jim being funny
My good friend Jim picked me up at the airport and was happy to see him. I gave him a big hug and knew all was right with the world. We started chatting right away about all kinds of things “How are the kids? How are the grandkids? Where’s Ana?” I asked. We stopped to have lunch and chatted some more. I wanted to get to the house in Washington to see Mouse (the cat) as she’d been alone for about 24 hours so Jim drove me into the city. I hugged my friend farewell, I knew I’d see him Monday morning and we clarified all of that.
Upon entering my old residence I attempted to open the door with my Scottsdale apartment key … but quickly was inside, video camera in hand to try to capture a super Youtube viral video of which my cat didn’t participate… she was very cautious about sniffing me and letting me touch her, oh well.
I spent a few hours with Mouse and put some personal hygiene products away before heading to Pentagon City Mall to have dinner with my best friend Suzanne. Now that was a very involved conversation – I’m going through a small rough patch and she drove all the way up from Virginia Beach (3 1/2 hours) to see me and make sure I was ok. We talked about her too, it’s not just about me. Just seeing her and spending that time with her was worth the trip. She’s the type of friend that won’t let me live in my own shit, she shows me the way when I’m in the dark – she’s always been that for me.
Saturday night as I fell asleep on the couch at Gary’s Mouse slept near me, but not too near.. Sunday morning she followed me around as I showered and headed out for a day of stuff. I headed to Annie’s Steak House for breakfast with my friend Steve. I ate there every Sunday morning that I was home and almost always ate their Grilled Chicken Salad for breakfast, lunch or dinner – I really like it.
After breakfast I headed over to a gay AA meeting to see old friends. The meeting was ok. It was nice to see some people and hear all the latest gossip and drama. I then had lunch with my friend Jason, it was nice to talk to him and see what’s been going on. I also talked with him about some work stuff and discovered interesting tidbits.
I didn’t get back to Gary’s until afternoon and Mouse was starving and suddenly very friendly – she gets fed one wet meal a day and she was convinced it was time – I held off until 2:30 and then gave in to her. After she eats then she wants nothing to do with you and finds a dark spot to take a nap. I took a brief nap and then had to head out to have dinner with some other friends – this time at the Cheesecake Factory.
I was anticipating more friends than arrived, but things come up. It was Danny, Steve and Cynthia with me for dinner and it was such a great experience – the waitress was odd and gave us moments to question if we were on TV or something a few times. It was so nice to see these folks and hear about the growth of the meeting, their lives and talk to them – I really miss them. The night was well worth the the trip to DC. When we finished after hugs and “see you Tuesday?” Cynthia dropped me off at Jinx Proof tattoos so I could see her paramour and my friend Matthew. I wanted to make sure it was ok to ask another tattoo guy in his shop to do a big tattoo for me… the guy is known for his superhero/comic book tattoos and it’s just amazing… I also wanted to see Matthew as he couldn’t make dinner. I’ve known some of these folks such as short time but really connect with them – Matthew feels like one of those friends I’ve always known. I walked back to Gary’s from Georgetown – 3.7 miles… this is something I used to do all the time but my legs really ached after – I need to walk more again.
Monday morning I awoke at six was out of the house by 7 to meet Jim in Takoma Park. We stopped at the 7/11 for coffee and then proceeded to his house where I looked at the QuickBooks account, sorted files, paid bills, fixed computer bugs (not viruses, just minor annoyances) and then helped his wife Ana, with some computer issues and taught her a few new tricks – she’s a great student. I spent the entire day with the DiLuigi’s and it was very nice to do so, they’ve always been family and mean the world to me. Jim shocked Ana and I by deciding to go through and throw away old files… like over 25 years old… It was nice to look at papers that referenced the forming of the American’s with Disabilities Act and know that this man was a part of that back then. We ended the day at Outback, and had more and more conversations before I headed back to DC.
Gary and Ian had been in Fort Lauderdale for the last few days and I finally got the chance to see them. Mouse was there too and was kind of lovable. It was nice to see my old roommate and I commented how nice it was of him to leave my bathroom the same as it was when I left – all my toiletries were exactly where i left them. Before I knew it I had to go to bed, I was to be up at 6 to go back to Jim’s – this night Mouse slept with me and it was nice – she usually sleeps down at my feet under the covers so no tossing and turning
Tuesday after more work at Jim and Ana’s we went to Maggiano’s to have lunch. It was the DiLuigi’s, Gary and Ian. We had family style and took our time, I think we had a three hour lunch. The conversations ranged from horse racing and church to the way Ian pronounces “garage” – the English are wonderful.
Tuesday night I attended my home group, the Tuesday Night Big Book Study – the best meeting in Washington DC. The room was packed full of people and all the founders were there. After the first reading I shared and then my friends shared and then other people shared and it was wonderful… I needed that. AA here in Scottsdale is nice, but the TNBBS is top rated. I was able to see Taylor and Laura who couldn’t make the dinner on Sunday and got so many hugs and … ahhhh…. what a great group. Afterwards Danny, Matthew and I had a quick stop at the Cosi chatting away until they closed the place at 9. Matthew and I drove over to his and Cynthia’s new house (7)42 is the house number (the seven is silent) and they really picked a great place – enough room for the both of them, spacious and I’m happy for them! I saw their kitties as well.
My last night at Gary’s and we were up til 11 chatting and watching shows he likes. Mouse slept with me kind of. I packed the next morning quickly had breakfast, shipped a portrait of myself that my friend Ron had painted and said my good byes. No tears this time, no hard goodbyes, just knowing everyone’s ok is nice.
Jim picked me up at the metro, we went to lunch and then he dropped me off at BWI. Again no hard goodbyes, but a strong hug and smile from my friend.
It was a great trip to DC, it was cold at times… but it was nice to see friends and family… I imagine I’ll have to go back again in 6 months or so…