Monday Morning. I rise at 6:30. Well that’s a fib. The alarm ended my sleep at at 6:30, I arose after a few trips back into the land of dreams and consequence free action. Around 7:00 I jumped up and got ready to head to my bosses’ house. (and yes that is, I believe, the correct punctuation...the home of two of my bosses, they are married). Wandering over to Heller’s Bakery to grab a croissant and bagel (planagel really…to be eaten on the plane) I embraced the thick morning heat of my newly adopted city. It’s 7:30 am and the heat conspires with my block long walk to create intricate sweat-based Rorschach designs on my newly pressed shirt. Wonderful. I think this one under on my right pec reminds me of a dancing bird trying to eat its own wing. Fantastic…some sweat, some sweets, and some psychoanalysis. Carbohydratic nourishment in hand, I returned home and for the first time in my life (I believe) I called a cab. I do not, as a matter of course, make use of cabs. They make me nervous: 1) it’s rare that I really know where I’m going 2) Even though I love making conversation under normal circumstances, the cab conversations I’ve had have just been a bit strange or at least strained. But the walk to the residential portion of DC where my bosses live seemed more than just a bit daunting under the watchful gaze of the hateful sun. So a cab was my option. Oh, and to add to the desirability of this option was the fact that I was traveling on business and because I’m no longer working for a 2-bit operation we can afford to reimburse for travel expenses. The cab arrived at 8:00 and we were off. On the way I relayed my destination: Phoenix. “But it’s a dry heat, ” offered the cab driver wearing one of those scotish hats that seem too stereotypically perfect for a real cabbie to actually wear. “Yes”, I replied, “though so is an oven.” The surface of the sun is also fairly dry, and similarly unappealing as a summer destination (though I guess the sun is pretty much off limits year round, from the little astrophysics I know). I was informed by my cab driver that the real place to visit is New Mexico, because that’s where Don Imus lives. This struck me as patently ridiculous. Who bases their geographic preferences on a radio celebrity, let alone Don Imus. Proximity to Don Imus means nothing. He’s a radio personality. He exists in the ether. By his very definition he can exist (in manner in which this man encounters him) in numerous places at once. Don Imus could live in the right back tire of a monster truck parked at the Stuckeys on I-90 in Wall, South Dakota, and you wouldn’t know. But I chose not to mention my theories on the role of Don Imus as a tourist attraction. Instead we talked (he talked) about how “fucking environmentalists have made DC terrible with all the imported trees.” Apparently the driver was fleshing out a theory wherein everyone in DC has sinus problems solely because there are too many trees, especially Asian trees. There may, in fact, be a botanical point to be made here, but I just admitted the truth, “that I hadn’t thought of that.” Similarly I’d never thought of trying to weight train by bench pressing a canvass sac full of rabid foxes while eating deviled eggs. See there are lots of things I’ve never thought of.
Eventually we pulled up to John and Nancy’s house and I disembarked, tipping well. Odd conversation aside, we made great time and that’s what he gets paid for, so why not tip well. Plus, I gained new insight into what I’ll forever think of as xeno-botany. The people you meet.