Friday, November 30, 2012

Things I See in DC - #3

I'm an observer. I watch people and things and try to make some sense of them. This world is a strange place, and writing down what I see makes me feel like less of an alien. I see a lot of interesting things in my adopted hometown of DC. Here are a few such things:

Things I See in DC - #3 (September-November, 2012)

It’s nine o’clock on a Monday night, and I’m reading a book on my porch and enjoying a glass of California pinot noir, like I do sometimes. I see two guys running up my hilly street. They’re thirty-somethings, dressed like tool-bags with all the pricey running garb and tassles, tufts of wet hair flopping over their ears. The one on the right checks his gadget-watch, huffs to the other: “Mile one: six minutes, two seconds.” The other one says back: “Nice! Let’s pick up the pace!” And they run off down the street, faster now. I take a sip of my wine and watch a mouse as it starts to dig a hole in my garden.

I grab a seat at the bar in Jack Rose. I look up at the library-style wall of Scotch, trying hard to make out the names in the hazy glow: Ardbeg, Auchentoshan, Bowmore, Bruichladdich. There must be hundreds of them, thousands perhaps, each bottle holding onto its own savory Scottish secret. A man plops down two barstools to my right. He’s my age, clean as clean-cut gets, his curly hair slicked back and gelled into a crisp helmet. He’s sporting slick shoes and a show-off suit that’s been far too carefully ironed. It isn’t long before a pretty blonde appears, stepping up to him with delicate feet. “Are you so-and-so?” she says. “Yes, and you must be so-and-so,” he replies. She takes a seat next to him. I sip my Highland Park and wonder what the hell this woman is doing with this guy. Mr. Clean grabs the bartender’s attention, and she walks over to take his order. Instead of asking his first date what she’d like, he looks up at the massive wall of whiskey and thinks of his own beverage. He scrunches up his brow and asks the bartender, simply: “Do you have any Scotch?”

In DC's Eastern Market neighborhood, mirrors of city life. ©Isaac James Baker

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