Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

Twenty Trip Treats

We're back from Washington D.C., where we had a good visit despite the fact that Kim needed to periodically attend meetings. I found the trip particularly delightful, both because I finally feel reconciled with my former home and because I got to do almost everything I wanted. I've made a list of high points:
• watching swirly 60s-era abstract films with my wife and daughter in the roomy coolness that is the the Hirshorn
• acknowledging that even the wheat-free version of my mother's cherry pie is sublime
• seeing a red fox darting across the road last night in Rock Creek Park
• realizing that one of my dearest friends smells exactly the same as a mother of three as she did as a Barrington Hall boho
• drinking draft Pilsener Urquell out of plastic cups while eating spicy $1.50 collard greens
• following my daughter through my father's garden as he led her to the first two ears of corn ready for harvesting and then watching her do the honors
• hearing how happy my former housemate is with his job, his home, and his life as I remembered how hard he worked to put himself in position to welcome good luck when it came his way
• feeling the damp, concrete-scented air of various Metro stations and remembering how much that odor moved me as a teenager
• observing my daughter's fascination with the various bones, prehistoric and contemporary, at the Museum of Natural History
• seeing how much fun my wife had using the iPod Shuffle I'd originally purchased for her birthday but then feared she wouldn't want
• checking out an impromptu breakdancing competition in Dupont Circle
• conversing with one of my favorite former students about the variety of present-day feminisms and the difficulty of turning theory into practice
• driving to the Target in the shopping plaza near my parent's house and not seeing another white person from the parking lot to the checkout line and back
• learning what it's like to be a reporter for The Wall Street Journal
• directing my daughter to her first fireflies
• seeing my favorite George Bellows and John Sloan paintings, however briefly, at the National Gallery of Art
• frolicking in a hotel pool for the first time in ages
• recounting two new iterations of the "Zeus story" as part of my daughter's bedtime ritual
• soaking in the extreme greenness of my surroundings
• not letting the fear of terrorism prevent me from having fun
For years I talked about how dreadful it was to live through summertime in the D.C.-area, yet I invariably enjoy the experience of walking through air so viscous that showering feels like an hourly necessity. As we rode the cab to the airport this morning, I looked out at all the joggers on the paths in Rock Creek Park and thought, "I could live here easily." I wish we could have stayed longer.

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