Friday, November 9, 2007

Dive is a noun. Bar is a verb.

Among other things, tonight was an object lesson in "listen to your gut". I always check the address and plot a location to my route. Maybe it's a boy scout thing. Maybe it's a not getting lost in the city thing. I want to know that I can get there and back on my own. But nooooooo, they're like "We know where it is. We'll just call when we get off the metro."

...well, those two statements are inconsistent, for starters. So I got myself a tour of Adams Morgan, which is basically the unpretentious drinking district of DC. And by unpretentious I mean you don't have to worry about running into anyone important because if you're important you don't have to go to AdMo. Either that or you just don't want to be seen there. Basically it's a relatively safe harbor in a city that doesn't have many. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a Mos Eisley "hive of scum and villany" but then, I stayed on the main drag.

Walking, much walking. Now, I don't mind the walking. I quite like the walking. It's my exercise considering that I sit in the library most part of most days. But the girls. They were not prepared for walking. H'oh no. They were prepared for looking good. High heels. To every girl that I am even halfway decent friends with, I preach the gospel of functional footwear. But, alas, these two had to suffer. And so, consequently, did we. Time will vindicate me. Blessed are those who perish in the hope of victory.

Eventually we found it. Such a strange little place; dive bar, no other word for it. The bartender seemed like he'd been into the stock, the paintjob on the outside had passed "rustic" a decade ago, and the whole place had never smelled the heady scent of varnish. But, despite all that, the whole "dive bar vibe" was utterly ruined by the fact that none of the clientele was the least bit dive-ish. No burnt out truckers, no one with tics or 3 days' growth or skin disease of any sort. It was all Gap specials and suitcoats and 40 dollar scarves. Very wierd dissonance. It was like the disneyland of divebars where all the people go to see what a divebar looks like.

On the other hand, the bartender made up for a lot of it. It's cold and rainy here tonight, so I was thinking scotch.



Freaking LOOK at this place.

Does it say scotch to you?

So I decided on a rum and coke. I order a rum and coke; the guy stumbles to the back wall, begins looking at bottles. Finds one that must look like rum to him cause he takes the top off, pulls a pint glass off the shelf, and fills the glass. In fact, empties the bottle.

When wet stuff stops coming out of the bottle he looks at it with a betrayed scowl, then tosses it into the back room with a crash. He turns and takes the glass, full of NOTHING BUT RUM and puts it on the bar. Then he disappears below the bar and after some rooting around, comes up with a CAN of Coke, shrugs, and puts it on the bar.

He then wanders down to the end of the bar and finds a bowl which he fills with ice. He puts a straw in the bowl and scoots it methodically up against the can and the glass. He studies the still life for a second then, apparently satisfied, says "Eleven dollars."

Now, I was about to go "11 DOLLARS FOR A RUM AND COKE?!" But then I realized that I basically had a bottle of rum in a glass. So I paid it and took my winnings to the table. I considered distributing the largesse amongst my fellow tablemates, but...some battles we must fight alone.

In short, merely getting away from the library for awhile was balm to an aching spirit. It was a nice to see another part of DC as well. It did occur to me this evening, however, that it gets colder earlier here on the east coast. I'd not actually noticed how cold it was because I only have a ten minute walk from home to the metro at longest so I had mostly dispensed with a jacket; I just walk fast. But I was puzzled to see everyone in their winter finery complete with jackets and scarves and hats and gloves. Apparently it's been like 35-45 degrees out the last few days. Good to know. Guess I'm going to have to start acting my longitude and pull out the winter clothes.

Speaking of winter, I must say, I'm finally far enough away from home and for long enough to start feeling the nostalgia. Hearing about the fires down south was interesting because it was like hearing about a tornado in Oklahoma or an ice storm in NY...people described the areas like they didn't known them. And in Contracts the other day one of the cases was so-and-so v. the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Well, the professor spent the whole class period referring to the defendant in shorthand as "P&G". Plus, if I say "The city" it means Washington, and "the bay area" means near Annapolis.

I like it here. But that doesn't mean I'm not also looking forward to seeing home again, too.


Anja said...

My cousin put himself through law school, with no help from his immediate family, so we basically didn't hear from him for several years. Despite the self-imposed hermitage, he turned out to be the best one of the bunch (meaning, that set of cousins), and now works up in Portland in family law. His wife is on the other side of the room (though I can't remember who defends families and who defends kids out of the two of them) and they now have a baby girl. So yeah, the point of my story (random as it is) is to not let yourself get down too much... life does exist outside of the craziness of the moment, and you won't lose it despite your best efforts. It's good to remember that when things get lonely despite the crowd and you're wondering why the heck you're doing things the way you are.

Anja said...

erm, by all of that, I did not mean to say that life was leaving you behind... but rather... oh fudge, I don't even know what I'm saying. I hope you got something out of that muck. Basically, chin up :)

warbler5 said... is certainly an adventure! I agree with you on at least 3 things....knowing where you are going beforehand, ALWAYS wear comfortable footwear, and $11 is too much for a rum and coke!!!!

I am glad to hear you were able to remove yourself from the library...