Once Upon a Time in DC: Chapter Two

It was like watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve as we kept checking our satellite-synchronized cell phones to mark the exact moment when Alexis and I would turn a year older. At midnight, we cheered and hugged and clinked glasses, when suddenly I wondered aloud, “What the hell am I celebrating? I just crossed over into another demographic! No one cares about the 35-44 age group! The only junk mail I’ll get now is a bunch of coupons for antacids and wrinkle creams.”
My mind started swirling with the realization of what it meant to suddenly be 35. What had I accomplished in my life? What did I have to show for my 35 years? How had I made my mark on this planet? The bitter taste of failure started to bubble up in the back of my throat, or perhaps it was the Knob Creek, but either way, I knew something had to change. So I did the only thing that seemed right to me, and demanded that we find another bar. This one reeked of mediocrity.
Shortly after leaving the bourbon bar, we lost four of our comrades to excessive fatigue and pre-hangover headaches, leaving just Dr. Greene, Dee-Dee and me to forge ahead. I said I would hit it hard, and I couldn’t start out my new year by surrendering that early.
We ended up at a bar that served beer with a heavy dose of smoke. However, the combination of margaritas, bourbon, and self-reflection had left me feeling mellow.
After finishing half my beer, we decided to call it a night, but not before stopping in a scary 10’ x 10’ storefront that sold empanadas until 4:00am. Dr. Greene promised us that these would be the best empanadas we had ever tasted. And they were. They were also, coincidentally, the only empanadas I had ever tasted, but that didn’t detract from their deliciousness.
I would have taken a picture of our actual meal, had the cashier not been sporting a tribal tattoo right in the middle of his forehead. Even with my clouded judgment, something told me this was not a prudent photo opportunity.
It was far too late for Dr. Greene to head back to Maryland, so Dee-Dee and I doubled up in our hotel bed and offered the other to Dr. Greene. The last thing I remember before falling asleep was Dee-Dee sharing a retched tale of her friend whose house was infested with bedbugs – international bedbugs nonetheless – and how all her furniture had to be burned.
Apparently, this story must have crept into my subconscious, because although I recalled sleeping soundly, the next morning Dee-Dee asked Dr. Greene if he heard me moaning in the middle of the night.
“Oh, you mean when she sat straight up and was like, ‘Ehhhhhhhhh, ehhhhhhhh?’”
“Shut up! I did not.”
“Oh yeah you did! And you totally hit me in the face, too!”
“I made a Frankenstein sound?”
“Kind of, but higher pitched, and not so drawn out. More like, ‘Ehhhh, ehhhh.’”
“Well, I’m glad you can both laugh at my night terrors. What if I was having a heart attack? It’s your fault, telling me those stupid bed bug stories when I’m sleeping in a hotel bed.”
Both Dr. Greene and Dee-Dee had splitting headaches, so I doled out ibuprofen and went to the bathroom to get some water. Just as I was handing the glass to Dee-Dee, I heard a crunching sound.
“Did you just chew up those pills?”
“No, I ate some pretzels to wash them down.”
“You chased pills with pretzels?”
“Yeah, why?”
We had a full day planned. I had read about a new Dada exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, and really wanted to check it out. It was a sunny day out, and we had dinner reservations later that evening, so I wanted to spend some time seeing the city.
After a quick breakfast at a restaurant with the filthiest bathroom I had ever seen in my life – international bedbugs would have been a welcome addition – we bid farewell to Dr. Greene and made our way to the museum. Just as we headed toward the entrance, a cab pulled up and out walked Vivian. Right on time.
[To be continued]

8 Responses to “Once Upon a Time in DC: Chapter Two”

  1. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Dude, in the words of Bill Murray, I want to party with you. International bedbugs, indeed.

  2. Caitlinator Says:

    Egad, I hate bedbugs. Had ‘em last summer and they sucked. Literally. But I do love a good tale involving burbon and empanadas, which I think is my favorite food of all time.

  3. Kevin Says:

    Did you guys scorch Greedo with a lighter or is that some lighting effect? Poor guy. Wasn’t it enough to be toasted by Han?

  4. jenny Says:

    Tracy Lynn: Yes, we are a very cosmopolitan bunch – only hanging out with the European bedbugs. La dee da da.
    Caitlin: You had them? How did you get rid of them? Did you have to burn all your furniture? I must know!
    Kevin: Me? Scorch Greedo? Never! This was just a super dark photo and my efforts at making it more visible created some unexpected effects.

  5. Sarah Says:

    I wish I had a friend named Dr. Greene.

  6. jenny Says:

    Everyone should have a friend named Dr. Greene.

  7. Caitlinator Says:

    Well, Jenny, if you really must know, you can always check out my bedbug site. But I really don’t recommend it. Suffice it to say it was a long, grueling process but it’s over now. I think.

  8. mrsfish Says:

    I saw that empanada shop a couple weeks ago when I got lost near dupont circle! I love empanadas and have not had a good one in so long. On the Border makes a tasty thing they call empanadas as an appetizer, but so not the same thing. I thought about stopping, but it is scary looking. Now that I have a recommendation, I might have to make a trip back into the district, or see if I can talk hubby into finding the place and bringing some home after work.