November 20, 2007
DC
I never thought I'd write this, but for tonight, I've grown weary of my beloved city. I liked it better when, like a new relationship, I wasn't familiar with all the trappings. At one point, the sirens served as background music, as evidence of the bustle of the streets that I loved so much, of the overflowing market, the drunken intern with a fist he couldn't hold back, the overzealous group with a purpose who came here thinking their voices would be heard. But the flashing lights mean none of this. As the months fly, you realize that the white cars are fighting traffic to make it to a block too close to home, one on which a man is lying still next to unfamiliar garbage cans. You learn that it isn't safe - it never really was - to walk the perimeter of the park. Unaccompanied trips to the corner store for a pre-10 pm bottle of Noir become nonexistent. It's no wonder that the chirp of crickets and the sounds of silence and the grass growing don't seem so stifling. Maybe it's just tonight.


21 Comments:

Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Maybe it is just tonight. There are times I've felt that way in D.C., but also times when I've felt invincible and energized by it. But if you think about it, it's really like that wherever you live.

((HUGS))

Blogger jessabean said...

Aw, man. No kidding, really...I am thinking I'll be moving into DC in the spring and it's been a bitch trying to find a neighborhood that's affordable AND not so sketchy that I feel like I need to buy a taser gun for those nights walking home from the metro. :(

Blogger M@ said...

well, it gets old. people rag on me for living here for the past seven years. STILL?

Blogger Gecko Rock said...

Now I'm just depressed.

Pass the vino.

Blogger Nina said...

Any big city can be exciting and depressing at the same time. I love New York, but man, it's awful. I can't quite leave due to the love, but it's nearly unbearable at the same time.

(((Hugs)))

Blogger HKW said...

I hope it's just tonight and you feel safer soon. The world is a scary place, it's okay to recognize it.

I wouldn't recommend a self defense class though. Took one in college and nearly had my neck broken by an unfortunate pairing with an overzealous peer. Had I not been so young and bendy back then....

Blogger Heather said...

Big cities can feel so alive and welcoming at times, but they can be the loneliest places on earth, too. I hope it's just a mood and not a permanent state!

-Nabbalicious

Blogger Kelly said...

Nabbalicious made a great point. These stories, the ones happening righthere and rightnow in our neighbourhood, they can be frightening or they can be what makes you love this damnquirky place. All depends on what you want it to do to you... Intent or not.

But, lady, I propose this: let's buy a hobby farm! Crickets and bunnies (and warning signs to motorists of bunnies!), and neighs and moos! They won't keep you indoors. And even better yet: in that barn there's room enough for wine makings!

Blogger Jorge said...

Maybe it is just tonight.

I'm still working on that teleporter so you can have your unlimited supply of Non-Jemima maple syrup.

:)

Blogger Alexandra said...

Hopefully it's just tonight!
We all get through that...

Seriously. Just move to Austin. Here you can walk to the quix in my hood at one a.m. and no one even notices your in your pajamas. I'll get ya all squared away with a case of vino and a hot date!

Blogger t2ed said...

Meemaw, tell us what it was like in the olden times.

DC ain't got nothing on Motown. We just moved to the #1 on the charts (with a bullet naturally) as the most unsafe city in the U.S. Woot! Suck it, St. Louis.

Come to Detroit: Where the Weak are Killed and Eaten.

Oh, and our football team sux too as you'll discover tomorrow.

Blogger deeeeeetroit said...

I live in the most dangerous city in the country (we had a couple of good draft picks to our varsity crime team). Which means I choose to waste my valuable free time commuting an hour eveywhere to get the hell away from the downtown that nobody in the 248, 586, or 734will ever purposely visit. ROCK ON to cul de sac and Gazebo living!!!!!

Blogger A Life Uncommon said...

There are nights I feel this way about Los Angeles... and then something will make me happy for the noise once again.

Blogger Kwade said...

I can see the point, since living in D.C. has made me alter some of my street-wandering habits. But at least the scariness of the city is for the most part understandable, as opposed to the scariness of the woods.

In the City: "Don't walk over there in the dark, because there are people who will see your backpack and think they should have it. When in doubt, run toward the light."

In the Woods: "Is that a person? What's it going to do? Where do I run? Are those weird ears or some kind of weird hat?"

Grew up in the country. Live in the city now.

Blogger Veronica Mitchell said...

When we decided to move, I told my husband, "I want to live in a neighborhood where screams are rare enough that when I hear one, I call the police."

Blogger Heather B. said...

I know what you mean. I've had several of those "Now would be an awesome time to get the hell out" moments - seeing a dead body on the street while driving through your neighborhood will do that to a person - but then I still loved it of course.

Now that I'm rather removed from it all when I come back I realize that I miss the energy and even the sirens. I need to find a delicate balance is all. Perhaps Virginia?

Blogger Christina said...

I live here, and it's not just "tonight"--- it's pretty much every night. The fear and hyper-alertness are, in my opinion, unhealthy. Look at crime statistics nationwide, and you'll see why I felt safer in NEW YORK than in the city I grew up outside of.

It's sad. I can't see myself raising a family here. There are equally vibrant cities with much less crime and class/race warfare.

Blogger Zandria said...

It sucks when you don't feel safe walking around the place where you live. :(

Blogger Gunfighter said...

I still love DC, and wish that I could live there now... probably in the same neighborhood that you live in, more or less.

Like anyplce... you havee to learn about safety aspects. The suburbs are no different, nor is it any different in the country. It's just a little more in your face in the city... but WHAT a city?!

DC is exciting. I know that many people hate it, but I love, love, love Washington, DC in a way that I could never love New York, even though I grew up less than a 30 minute drive from Manhattan.

You hang in there.

GF

Blogger JP said...

Why don't you move to New York?

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