Sunday, April 03, 2005

Even More Ridiculously Obscure KYW and Kobe References (And Some Psychoanalysis Too!)Day 1- Boulevard of [Duct-taped and jury-rigged] Dreams

So it's Easter Sunday and that means emptier flights, since people fly right before or right after holidays, but never ON holidays, according to my MBA-bearing father. He and I pack our bags, our travel plans, and our wallets (always the most essential part of any trip to Washington DC), and go to the airport to fly to the Grand Central Northworst Hub of Hubs, Detroit. And from there we will fly to Washington DC...

"Who do I know from KYW who lives in DC?" I ask myself. Much like the Emmy Chu Conundrum from Thanksgiving Break, this will haunt me all my days.

Then we get to CVG, and disaster strikes. A line of people the lenght of a somewhat-abridged copy of "War and Peace" has formed in front of the security checkpoint.

Security checkpoints will also haunt me on this trip.

Apparently a Bozo (my father's own words) went through security with a gun, and now everything is backed up.

The line stretches unnaturally like various parts of the human anatomy, through the A ticketing terminal, the then through the B terminal, then the C terminal, and finally through a series of extensive Vietcong-style tunnels, Coruscant-style skywalks, and other ugly-carpeted pieces of the airport I didn't even know existed. We settle in for a long, long wait. I look out side at the overcast skies and rain.

++++++

When we arrive in DC several presidential administrations later, it's still raining.

I sigh and put on my Ipod, depressing tunes roiling through my head like the stormfront overhead. Note to self: do not have "Angst" as a playlist title.

I spot another person who has an Ipod at Reagan airport. This is the first random passerby I've ever seen who's wearing the stormtrooper-white device while watching for his luggage. It depresses me to think my one piece of "cool gear" is no longer as unique as it seems, especially given all the fingerprints I've gotten all over it.

Very unhappily I listen to Rob Douan's voice crack, and think longingly of my dear friend Nina, who not only got a brand new Ipod for her birthday, but also is RIGHT THIS MOMENT lying on a sun-soaked beach in Phuket, Thailand, tanning herself into becoming fully Lebanese, and being offered virgin Sex on the Beach by legions of ignorant beach boys who have no diea why she's laughing so hard. (And unless she has a much better memory than I do, she has no clue either)

++++++

DC has a metro system.

Now, having lived in Japan for 3 years, when people say "metro" I think either "train", or "-polis", so here in America when people talk about those huge clanking buses stinking of ozone-layer-destroying-fumes and half-eaten fast food I get very confused.

It's refreshing to ride a train, even if it is full of city folks who glare towards the hapless tourist and his dad in a most hostile way.

The Japanese metro is a bastion of efficiency, speed, cleanliness, and people who look off into space out of politeness. The DC metro is a bastion of inefficiency, delays, chewing gum, and people who look off into space to avoid making eye contact with a potentially gun-carrying insomniac taxicab driver named Robert de Niro who will ask them "You talkin' to me?"

I need to get back to my bubble in the suburbs.

++++++

As I step out of the metro (Rosslyn Station) I get onto the Endless Escalator, a moving staircase roughly the size of Mt. Everest, which carries its riders through a long concrete funnel upwards from the train level (underground) to the street level (aboveground)

As we exit the train station, I am struck by how familiar the city's financial district looks: towering, tasteless buildings, rainslicked streets, and other alliterative/consonative/assonancitive (is that a word) nouns of bleakness. It's the overcast sky that hits me: I'm back in F-ING HIROSHIMA! All that's missing is the neon Japanese lettering, and a girl with an umbrella.

My internal Geiger counter clicking, I make my way with my father across intersections with countdown timers next to their WALK/DON'T WALK signs (a brilliant idea, judging by the scores of DC pedestrians, who knowing how long their windows of opportunity to cross the street are, leap into the pat hof oncoming cars in order to create the massive traffic jams that America is known for)

It's a relief when we reach the hotel and begin to immerse ourselves in the richly cultural and painstakingly historical experience that DC offers by flipping on ESPN and watching the travesty of Michigan St. crushing UK.

Tomorrow: Where are the Deer?

# of People I spotted sporting Ipods: 6
Ipod Slogan of the Day: "Because Life Should Have a Soundtrack"

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