Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The daily commute…

How many times have I walked home along Q Street after work well after midnight.  Tonight in a fog, witnessed out the restaurant's windows, I walk out into the night, past Dumbarton Oaks, past Montrose Park, its gas lamps receding into the din where ship ropes were wound, down the hill, Everymay, then the turn onto Q.  The same thing.  Coming home after work, hiking, to save money instead of a cab, to not wait for the bus, a way to relax, get fresh air, unwind with all the keyed up adrenaline from a shift controlling the traffic on a micro level, exercise for the ticker, but always alone.  Always with the vision, like you might have from working a Saturday night, of the world out for dinner with friends and spouses replete with cocktails.  What do you do?  Everyone's gone to bed.  You go home, eat something, watch tv, have your own glass of wine.  And the clock plays its own trick on you, with silly hours hard to believe, a four, a three, a six and no clear signs of sleepiness.

A bus goes by, another one, as I walk.  I remember a nice conversation with a D2 driver.  I walk past a spot where a raccoon, mortally hit in the street, still growled and twitched its tail with the last reflexes of life.  Further ahead, much more recently, a buck stood one night on the lawn in front of an apartment building.  Across the street before the bridge, a neighbor, a general's wife, had, she pointed out once, years ago, lived up there in an apartment with Doolittle's wife during the war.  And I've walked home along Q Street for a long time with nothing changing, the same job, the same duty, the same profession, the same something like just getting by but with health insurance.

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