Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin

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I haven't given my observations of DC in very much detail since I got here, I've realized. This may be due to the fact that in many ways I haven't felt any real bond with this city. When I walk through the streets, I feel this overwhelming lack of characters. It's just.. "nice" but nothing more. I wondered if maybe I just wasn't listening hard enough, that I'd been so blown over by the rush and roar of New York that I'd become deaf to the quieter voice of this place, so close to suburbia on every side.

Last night it thunderstormed, and I had to meet Tiffany and her friend Anne for dinner at 8:30. Take a taxi? Never. I just put on capris, my REI rainjacket, and stepped out with an umbrella. Within 5 minutes of walking I was soaked mid-thigh down. I sloshed through the currents of rainwater flooding along street curbs, walked through puddles along the uneven sidewalk. And everytime I passed someone, I met their eyes. They would smile, almost sheepishly as if to say "isn't it silly, we got caught in this and now we're soaking" and I'd smile back, thinking "I didn't get caught, I put myself here." From one direction came a man, running with his umbrella to get out of the torrent more quickly. From the other came a jogger, soaked to the skin and loving it. I breathed in the warm air, crossed the Adams Miller Street bridge, looked out to hills and clouds floating above them. A lightning bolt cracked the sky, and I suddenly saw the beauty of this place.
This morning it's normal again, walking through the morning humidity to get to work. I smile more at people on the street here, and sometimes they smile back. Then I come sit in this office, and wish I could be outside, or closer to people I know and understand.

I miss life, I miss what I had last night - the feeling of being alive.

We ate at a Greek restaurant. It was normal. Everything here is normal. I don't understand why I can't love this place. I don't know why it seems to bore me. It isn't really a lack of stimulation, or a lack of the "city-feel" of New York, I don't think. Well, perhaps it simply needs more time. I need more time with it.

I think more and more often of my life after college now. I look at my brother, for whom everything is falling into place and maybe a small part of me envies that, even though I know I'm not ready to fall in anywhere yet. I look at Ben, and for him also things are falling into place - the Navy, his friends nearby at UCI. I feel older than I should be. Maybe I've worked too hard these past years. I'm going to start planning next summer soon though - a summer that I'm going to spend traveling around the US and perhaps other countries - backpacking, canoeing, sightseeing, road tripping. If anyone wants to join me, I welcome the company of familiar friends, and together we shall grasp a little freedom before we too fall into our place.
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