A NIGHT ON THE TOWN - 8-15-2003
Last Friday Kath and I got a chance to revisit the world of civilization we left behind some five years ago when we entered the dark tunnel of raising small children. Ginny, Kath's sister came down to our house and took all three children for an overnight, god bless her. Kathleen bolted out of the house on Friday and we met Rob and Tina at their house on capital hill. By then it was around six pm.
The thing is, I can remember, vaguely, when I had such freedoms. There was a time, way back when, when Kath and I lived in a small one bedroom apartment in Arlington. No room, no equity, no responsibility. If time was money, then I wasted time like I was burning twenty dollar bills just to roast a marshmallow. I wish I could go back in time and visit my former self, and slap him upside the head. "Look around, " I'd say, "enjoy yourself while you can. Really enjoy yourself. This time you spend is like a bubble, and with children the bubble bursts." Then I would dissapear, leaving only the sound of my laughter, a deep meniacal laugh that echoed off into the distance and slowly faded away.
So anyway, we got to pretend we were childless and hip and interesting for just a night anyway. We talked about politics. We had drinks while we waited for a dinner table at this West African restaurants and watched the bartender whip together Mojitos, a strong mint flavored Cuban rum drink. I felt lost. I kept looking around and expecting Anna to come running out of the kitchen, or to see PJ getting his hands in the Salad bar.
After dinner we went to a communist bar called the Common Share. This bar was originally this bar was run as a not for profit cooperative. How cool! I felt as though by going to this interesting bar I was defining myself in some interesting way. I felt interesting! Of course that was probably more because of the several large bottles of West African beer I had downed while we ate dinner. After running as a co-op for a while, the Common Share is now a for profit bar. But the beers are cheap and the air-conditioning practically non-existent. It was hot, cheap, sweaty, and reeked of character. I was defining myself into a puddle of sweat in this crowded cheap bar in Adams Morgan. Sadly, we had to leave.
We crashed at Rob and Tinas. They let us sleep up in their room and i cranked the dial on the window unit air-conditioner up to 11. We slept a tired, deep sleep and never woke up until morning, a decadent 8:30. We went to out to breakfast at the Hawk and Dove, which was delicious. We browsed around Eastern Market for a short while. I found a used book store and bought some books, Kathleen bought some veggies. Then it was time to leave.
When we returned Anna was sick with a stomach virus and started throwing up almost immediately upon our return. She threw up all night, it was bad, she couldn't even keep a sip of water down. So we nested, and I don't think anyone left the house the rest of the weekend. We covered the bed, the couch, everywhere there were towels. Anna threw up everywhere. Eventually she got better.
There were few defining moments during this second half of the weekend. Just a sick little girl and her two brothers who grew the slightest fraction older. It was more sweat equity than distinction; I don't think people like to here about you caring for your sick child. Its just one of those things. you have to do. The sacrifices you make for your children.
But these days I guess this defines me more than anything else.