austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I'll take you to a place you've never been before

The subway was packed, of course. But it was a post-Rally crowd. There was singing. How could there be singing on the subway? How could there not be? When does a subway car break into song? When do I make my silly little attempts to sing along? This was such a time.

Between intermittent phone service outages my father proposed that we meet at the end of the orange line at about 6:30, and that we call ``when we emerged from underground'', a useful time base since that's a few stops before the end of the line. And when we emerged I did call, and we looked set to be picked up at the kiss-and-ride spot as directed. When bunny_hugger and I got to the final stop we found ... no car, but then, I wasn't precisely sure where the kiss-and-ride point was either. Bus stops and taxi stands sure, and the commuter garage sure, but a kiss-and-ride spot? A sign? Nothing, and there was an unsettling presence of the absence of my father as best I could tell.

We wandered around, too exhausted to be weary, and when I finally gave up looking for a more clearly marked kiss-and-ride point and took bunny_hugger's advice that we should wait by the taxi stand who should pull up but ... nothing, actually. At least nothing for us. I had just taken my phone out and started calling my father again when he pulled up. It was slightly packed: my father, an uncle (as in husband-of-mother's-college-friend) and an aunt (as in sister-of-mother's-college-friend) (not the same friends), but my father was driving the Toyota Something and the car could seat us all, even if it took some effort to get the center seat belt working.

My aunt (this seems like the wrong word but I'm forced logically to accept that) had picked out a restaurant and phoned to discover that they would be glad to seat a party of five people, in ``ninety or a hundred minutes'', which the person taking reservations then explained in a voice clearly audible even over her cell phone was, ``an hour and a half''. There wasn't any chance of our waiting for that, so she called a fallback option: the Outback steakhouse. They said they'd be able to seat us. Apparently word of bunny_hugger's vegetarianism hadn't quite been communicated successfully. On the other hand, what else was there to eat? Quite possibly the Rally crowd meant there wasn't much of a place to eat anywhere in Maryland or northern Virginia.

It turned out that by ``yes, they can seat us'' the Outback really meant ``in maybe twenty minutes, we didn't know you'd be coming right away, are there really five of you?'' There was some fresh set of misfired communication, but still, twenty minutes was much better than an hour and twenty minutes.

Vegetarian options at the Outback are slim, but they do exist. Even more precious is they had sodas. I was feeling quite parched and I know the first Diet Coke I got I drank in pretty near one long gulp. It was close to that on the other gulps too.

bunny_hugger worried that she monopolized the conversation. I didn't feel like she was doing that at all, although she was doing very well being interesting in talking about herself, and the Rally, and what we saw and did, and her job, and her life ... all the many subjects I can't tire of since they revolve around her. My father, I should point out, also thought bunny_hugger was not just being charming but was also much more at ease than she'd been in previous encounters with him and with my mother. Possibly this is the ease of familiarity; possibly it's that we were on more neutral grounds; my father also joked that with my mother not present there was much less performance pressure on her. My uncle and the aunt also reported being charmed by her.

After dinner, and dessert, my father drove us back to the Metro station. There was no singing on the return trip, but there was the influx of people dressed for Halloween parties, making the trip festive in a new way. Also along the way we deduced that bunny_hugger had taken a different Metro line in from the airport than she thought she had, because she remembered one of the stations we were passing from her ride in and she couldn't have passed that on the line she thought she rode. This may seem a small thing, but I was proud for the deduction involved.

On returning to the hotel we paid very close attention to exactly how we entered and its location relative things we could not miss. We were confident we'd have the back entrance figured out for Sunday, assuming we were able to wake up in time for the day. We were exhausted, after all.

Trivia: The human brain contains more phosphorous (per kilogram fresh weight) than any other organ in the body. Source: The 13th Element: The Sordid Tale Of Murder, Fire, And Phosphorous John Emsley.

Currently Reading: The Klondike Fever: The Life And Death Of The Last Great Gold Rush, Pierre Berton.

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