31
Jul
11

“da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo,” or, “my love letter to dc….”

Last night I lay prostrate on the third floor landing of a house in Ledroit. I’m unclear as to whether my eyes were open or closed. It was dark, though.

Laughter, the sounds of bodies moving in rhythmic cohesion, clinking glasses and filling cups , all thundered beneath me.

With each new musical selection, each newly minted guest, the party gained momentum–as if in contest with itself to reach some epic crescendo.

And I lay there, still and quiet, praying against being discovered. Despite the early hour, I’d been relegated to a state of suspended animation. My mind raged, tirelessly, trapped in a body felled low by its vices.

I thought in images, as opposed to succinct concepts—my condition would allow for little more—but each flashback was clear. I recounted, again and again, one after another, similar nights like this one—nights when the party didn’t stop, when the music never died, when the fun never ended.

And the only sentence I could thoroughly process, the one that continued on and on throughout my reverie, was a refrain from an old Billy Joel song: “I’ve loved these days.”

And I have.

*****

All of my hard-partying friends, my personal squad of derelicts, hover just under and just over the “30” mark.

And while we all have good degrees, better professions, mortgages and car notes, in the general scheme of “traditional” life, we have little else to recommend us.

And as our betters nestle themselves in the certainties of matrimony and parenthood, their decisions pre-ordained by Domesticity, we’re treading water in a sea of unknowns. We’ve met all of our goals. And now we struggle to create new ones. No one ever taught us how to manipulate this vacuous “what next?” part of our lives.

And it would be vacuous; by all rights, it should be vacuous.

Only, me and my derelicts—

We’ve filled it. Filled it full.

Bottomless mimosa brunches on Sundays, where the vulgarity of our humor is as low as our blood-alcohol concentrations are high.

The familiarity of strangers drunkenly learning a line dance under a copse of trees at a barbecue in Rock Creek Park.

Bodies slick with sweat, eyes closed, voices in unison, belting out “Magdalehna” on a Monday night at Marvin; “Heartbreak Hotel” on a Saturday night at Axel F.

I’ve loved these days.

Looking out at the Washington Monument from the balcony of the W, in the company of some of the most fascinating people I’ve met, and feeling so overwhelmingly lucky to be alive, in just this moment.

Drag Bingo at Nellie’s, Salsa at Habana, raucous margarita-inspired laughter on Wisconsin, slow, lazy Hookah smiles on 18th; vomiting outside of my car after a failed post-night-out-church-attempt-on-Sherman Avenue, getting pulled over on 15th in a car filled with a thousand drunk lawyers…………..

I’ve loved these days.

While we might not have run these streets, we certainly ran hard and fast in them.

And with every passing week, we run harder and faster still.

We’re well aware…………..there will be a time—

A time for the payment of debts; for the closing of tabs and the settling of accounts. A time for sensible shoes and moderation of drink.

There will be a time for severity.

A time for minivans and coupons, for talk of the market. A time for chastity of speech and even more chastity of action.

There may even be a time to be sorry for our current excesses.

But not yet.

Last night, I lay prostrate on the third floor landing of a house in Ledroit, my fellow party-goers, politely stepping over my near-dead body as the celebrants down below danced happily into oblivion.

Make no mistake about it—

I’ve loved these days.

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2 Responses to ““da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo,” or, “my love letter to dc….””


  1. 1 sourpatchkid
    August 1, 2011 at 4:11 am

    this makes me want to hop on a plane and move back to DC immediately.

    and promise me you won’t start your minivan and coupon life until you’re at least like 65, 67. i got blog posts to read, don’t be selfish dammit!


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