A work in parts about my observations of the District.
Song of the day: Rap N*****s by Nipsey Hussle
While walking towards the Foggy Bottom-GWU train station, I stopped on my trek to work and looked around me: there's a catholic church to my left and some building owned by GWU to my right (in the distance I think). There's a silver 2007 BMW with a pink and white ticket in its windshield wipers. The District is infamous for giving tickets for anything from parking to jaywalking, you name it. Thankfully, I haven't received a ticket and I don't plan on it either. Watching a cop car break through the post morning rush hour is unsettling-- he seems rather desperate to get somewhere or to someone. Some of the people I've encountered in passing walk around people that need help and have a one-up attitude. Class and status truly ruins the lives of so many people here simply from the fact that everyone wants to get to the next location fast. Men and women clutch their bags and walk briskly like they're about to miss the train. The escalator descends me into the cavernous subway as the light from outside is replaced by yellow-white tungsten lights. The brick clacks against my dress shoes and echoes throughout the cinder block roof of the subway. As I hop from one train to the next to get to work, people come on and off the carts finding a seat where they can. Not many people sit next to each other-- I guess that means some people are more paranoid than others. To be in a transient city like the District, you see every kind of person there is: tall Asian, short-haired Afro-caribbean, paraplegic caucasian. Some things about people can be seen but others, you have to find out through conversation. Walking off my cart to my stop, I strolled up the escalator and into the natural light. Today’s work wouldn’t be long since I’d completed most of it ahead of time. So I did research and made notes until it was time to go back to GW.
On the way back home, I went to the mailbox to get a care package I received from my girlfriend (shout out to bae for always looking out for me, you are loved my dear), to find that it was way heavier than expected. I weigh 125.6 lbs. Guess how much the box weighed? 60 lbs! Imagine wearing a long sleeved jean shirt and fitted pants in 86 degree weather carrying a box that's 60 lbs! Boy did I feel the love in that box while I was carrying it. I carried the box every 10 steps and stopped for a break. With almost every break I took, no one stopped to even acknowledge me except a pair of construction workers and a summer intern that helped me get inside of Shenkman Hall when I finally made it to the double doors. The mandarin I got from my co-worker was crushed in my pants pocket, my arms were sore from carrying the box, and it looked like I'd been hit by an intermediate Florida shower. Fatigued and shaking while pushing the box through the doors and into the elevator, I was so tired that I got off on the wrong floor but knocked on the right room number (or so I thought). I apologized to the person that I didn't mean to disturb and found my way back onto the elevator to head to the ninth floor. I fell asleep after clearing out the box and cleaning up the mess I made.
(Did I mention that I'm almost done and I’m absolutely enjoying myself? The Canady Foundation for the Arts was definitely the perfect place for me to be and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.) I knew the night would be long once I woke up so I dragged around the house until I was ready to write, listen to beats, or get distracted by whatever was going on with my phone. I’ve been here for three weeks and from what I’ve seen so far, I don’t think there’s a place like the District. It has the immediacy of New York. The hominess of Jacksonville. The funk of Philly. The clout of L.A. Maybe this is the buttercup phase of a new relationship but I like the District so far. I’m excited for everything that it has in store for me.
Beyond the Lights,