I did the unusual on New Year’s Eve.
Ordinarily, I adhere to the credo that nothing good ever happens in the streets after midnight, but last night I decided to feed my muse. I went out. I rarely drink, but I said, What the heck? I stopped at a 7-Eleven and bought two Naked smoothies, two bananas, and a bag of white cheddar popcorn to fortify myself for my adventure. Yeah, I was living on the wild side.
The author in me was on a mission to observe Washington, DC with an eye for stories.
Tony nightclubs had long lines behind velvet ropes. Some clubs erected tents on the sidewalks for the overflow of revelers.
The Metropolitan Police Department maintained a visible presence on foot along city blocks. They also parked their patrol cars in strategic locations to be an ostentatious deterrent.
The roadways were an obstacle course. License plates from every state and territory clogged the sixty-nine square miles of the nation’s capital. Pedestrians threw out the rules of the road by crossing anywhere they wanted without any regard to moving vehicles. Taxis and limos stopped on a dime to drop off passengers, paying no mind to those behind them. Bicyclists zipped between cars with reckless abandon, making drivers hit their brakes. As I was entering a gnarly intersection, a cop car responding to a call flipped on its whirling lights and siren and sped across my path, forcing me to take evasive action. I wish that I had worn a Depends.
And why do people stand in the streets to hold conversations with those behind the wheels of their cars? They lean their forearms on the window wells, and project their butts into the driving lanes. Don’t they realize they distract drivers in traffic who must account for them, decreasing the margin of error? Sheesh!
At one point in my car, I was rocking out to the local classic rock station. I turned up AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and jammed like it was the 1980s all over again.
Then, a preppy, college-aged man walked up to my passenger side window and knocked. He casually wanted to have a conversation. Booze induces some drunks to be friendly.
Food trucks were making a killing. The sliced pizza joints were filled beyond capacity. Who knew that so many Subway sandwich shops were open so deep into the night?
Despite temperatures in the low to mid-30s, women showed skin as if it were summertime. All rubbed their arms or folded into the embraces of their fully dressed dates. Is being cute more important than warding off colds and the flu? So much skin. The fashion of bareness leaves nothing to the imagination.
Last night reminded me why I don’t like to drink. The slack facial expressions and vacant stares. The unladylike gaits. Buddies folding a limp dude into a cab. A woman holding a light post oblivious to her revealing wardrobe malfunction. An inebriated driver being handcuffed after a fender bender on 14th Street, stopping already snarled traffic.
I won’t be going out like that any time soon.
Now I write from those notes. I choose quiet to last night’s chaos. I play soothing jazz versus hard rock. Coltrane’s soprano sax inspires my imagination to take flight. Real life is stranger than fiction.
Embracing passions and relationships.™