Choose Your Own Adventure!

What was the strangest part of tonight? Was it the part where I…

(A) Stayed late at work to attend an event on a region I don’t study (mainly for the food), and was entranced to find quite the smorgasbord, complete with waiters walking around in bow ties with h’ordeuvres, and tuna carpaccio and chocolate mousse thingies among the dinner/dessert selection. U. and I stood off to the side like the lowly interns we are, eating our fancy quinoa at a stand-up table with candles on it. “Our quinoa has pomegranate in it,” she pointed out. “Our lives are not so bad.” Meanwhile, I was making use of the complimentary white wine. On the way into the room for the meeting, I took a bunch of slices of tuna carpaccio and a dab of wasabi cream… and another cup of white wine. I spent the first half of the meeting sort of listening, but also stuffing myself with the tuna and knocking back the wine in what I made a valiant effort to look like measured, only occasional sips. I spent the second half feeling woozy and concentrating very hard on the speakers, and trying very hard to think about their topic.

OR, maybe it the part where I…

B) was made to wait half an hour at 9pm at the bus stop at the end of the train line, because the C8 bus only runs until 8:30 (??!!?), and I had to wait for the local #10, and I got to engage in a long unwarranted conversation with an admittedly drunk guy about how women should be respected, after he showed me his bus map and generally treated me like I had all the brain cells of a grapefruit. Over and over, “Now listen. I have a mother! I have a woman! I have a daughter and a granddaughter! I’m not like a lot of these men out here.” A Latin American girl my age showed up and we both unwittingly spoke to the self-proclaimed feminist drunk man. The bus eventually arrived. On the bus, my phone died.

OR was it when I…

(C) Got off the bus and started walking down the suburban lane with branching streets and cul de sacs galore. I walked straight through the curvy lane, and then realized I was at the end — I turned up a road and kept going, looking for my street. I saw not one or two but nine white-tailed deer. I set off a number of motion-sensor lights. I tried to wave to someone in a car, who drove right past me; when I waved to someone else, she stopped and gave me confusing and clearly unsure directions. I followed them nonetheless — now 40 minutes into my walk, which was starting to feel like an expedition. I couldn’t use my phone’s GPS to direct me, or call the couple whose room I’m renting. I could have been walking forever. I imagined I was exploring a foreign land, or a post-apocalyptic scene, looking for somewhere to hunker down for the night. A few houses down I yelled hopefully at a guy who was letting his dogs out. His dogs eagerly ran to my side and jumped on me, to his chagrin. This at least tempted him — initially wary — into helping me. I followed him inside and his wife from Hong Kong explained the way to him and volunteered him to give me a ride, which I accepted because they seemed very nice and it was not far and I liked his dogs. John gave me a ride half a mile down the road to the house.

I was feeling a little whimsical. I’d been out of the house since 7am this morning. I returned at 10pm, like it was all I could do just to get back.

My yearning for a slightly bigger adventure leaves me feeling jealous of my Western & Midwestern friends absorbing the full force of the Snowpocalypse with their mugs of cocoa and locked front doors and their opportunity to sleep in and have snuggly movie marathons. Tomorrow it’s 55 degrees here, and rainy, and I’ll be out the door early again, soaking my clothes made of linen and silk and cotton, cursing my broken umbrella, looking forward to what DC has deemed adventure-worthy tomorrow.

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