Sunday, June 26, 2005

Hot town...

Saturday was warm. I'm told that it was a preview of months to come. I'm not quite sure how I grew up in weather like this. Ohio is stiflingly warm. I used to catch a full game in weather much warmer than this, and gleefully wish for more. Yesterday I found myself doubled over like the aging weekend warrior at the full court basketball game. I was winded and weakened.

I met Megan and a bunch of Yalies (eli's maybe) and affiliated friends for frisbee at the Mall. No more than 20 steps into the game I was doubled over. I am not now, nor have I ever accurately claimed to be, in elite physical condition. However, this was far beyond the pale. I was so tired/winded/sick that I was struggling to hold up the weight of my head. As a matter of course when you find your physical strength comparable to that of an infant you know something is wrong. While I'd lost my ability to easily hold my head's weight, I retained object permanence. So I was able to realize that people were running past me for scores. It was a wonderful confluence of events. Eventually we broke for water and I began to feel more restored. I'm not sure if I'm sick (seems most likely) or if I'm not getting enough iron or sugar or calories in general. Even though it was maliciously warm out, I've got to believe I'm in better shape than that.

As a safety measure I've taken to bringing water with me on my little trips around town. I figure no matter what's wrong with me, it cannot be from too much water. That's right I've adopted the approach of Oberlin's voice majors. Soon I'll wear a scarf and pretend not to recognize you.

In direct contrast to the "hotter than a match head" days, the last few evenings in Washington have been refreshingly cool. On Saturday I joined Dan and Emmet at Dan's apartment for some tasty and cost effective Chinese food. We originally intended to make our way over to the Nationals game but the heat and fatigue of frisbee (me) and soccer (Emmet) made movement unappealing and quite unlikely. Instead we watched a documentary about IRA prisoners and later a particularly boring 15 minute Buster Keaton piece. (I like Keaton, but this was abysmal). It was at this point that I found myself being introduced to Grand Theft Auto. It's a rare thing to find yourself so torn between repulsion and compulsion. There is something so appealing about transgression, something wonderful about complete and utter lawlessness. I found it particularly awkward when I'd unexpectedly shout support of Emmet's decision to run over a passerby with a car. It is a game that seems to be directed with a sniper's precision at the 20 something male id. I half expected to see S.Freud as the creative consultant, and while I can't say we managed to get to the part of the game wherein kill your father, I don't for a moment doubt there is such a part.

Following our crime spree against the pixelated peoples of the world, we left Eastern Market for a friend/acquaintance's party. It will come as no great surprise to those who know me that I was not in this case, "dressed to impress." In fact I'm not sure whether I am capable of dressing in a fashion where anyone other than those who know me would be impressed, years of low expectations make it easier to "impress." Not having heard in advance that we were going out to a party (I'd dressed to watch soccer and baseball) I was decked out in a small Dean shirt and cargo shorts. I was, in short, pretty unappealing at least to the other folks at that party. Turns out, they were relatively unappealing to me as well. At the party I found what I'd always imagined to be the scene in a Georgetown bar--muscled men, and busty women in clothes designed to emphasis these attributes whose prime concern was discussing the means by which they were successful members of DC society. I spoke briefly with a man who works on the Hill for a Republican, not because he shares his beliefs but because he wants to get a portfolio assembled. Previously he'd worked as a consultant for Pfizer. He's a nice enough guy, but we honestly had only about 5 minutes worth of conversational commonality. So that commonality exhausted I searched for other people with whom to talk.

Something about a party with lots of cool DC type people tends to set me back. I just don't know what I'm supposed to do here, it's the same thing in bars. I don't tend to find women all that attractive until I've been able to talk to them. Independent of conversation I'm just rarely that impressed, and certainly without conversation I am rarely impressive. I thrive in the quiet living room setting not the mosh pit setting. It's like birds. If you don't have the nicest plumage you better have a nice call. Conversation. In the pseudo evolutionary world of dating it's my comparative advantage.

After a bit of frustration with the party, and a need to just be alone for a while I walked home. I love this. I have come to adore the ability to walk home. I've recently, on several occasions, chosen to walk home over taking car rides, the metro and buses. I like the chance to think. No with whom to talk. Just the act of repeatedly moving myself one step closer to my bed. There is something reassuring about my own pace, my own thoughts, my own direction. I once worried that living in a city would be too hectic for me, that I'd be swallowed up by a wall of worries, neurosis and an inability to get any sort of distance from the enormity of place and population. I think in some ways I've found incredible solace by living in a city. I've found a way to carve out space for my thoughts without becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the doubt and anxiety they usually produce.

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