The Flea Sisters Take D.C...

Sometimes I forget my big city roots. I get settled into my small town, southern, country girl persona and completely forget my first 22 years as a hard-ass, Philly girl. Until something happens to jolt me back...

Like arriving this afternoon in Washington.

I drove slowly north, meandering my way into D.C through the rolling hills of the Shenandoah Valley, totally into my search for the ultimate country farm, and almost forgetting that I was driving into the big city, where it's always rush hour.

But suddenly, there I was...at 3 in the afternoon, watching lanes of traffic trying to escape town, tapping my brakes, watching cars zip and zag through muliple lanes of jam packed trucks, buses and cars and suddenly, I was back...right there, as if I'd never ever been away.

Mertis was right concerned when I left Greensboro. "I don't like the idea of you driving up there with all them crazy Yankee drivers," she groused. "It's dangerous!"

I just looked at her.

"You do remember where I used to live, right?" I asked.

"Well, it's true," she said. "They all drive like maniacs!"



This afternoon's spin past the Washington Monument, the school buses jammed along street corners discharging bored children onto already gorged sidewalks, the business people in suits, carrying over-full briefcases...it was all a familiar tonic. It was easy. It was just like yesterday.

And most of all, it was exilarating.

Big cities force you to live in the present. They grip you by the shoulders, shake you, spin you around and then toss you out into a world that won't let you "wait a minute." Big cities demand to be reckoned with.

Tonight, while I googled "best rated hair salons," and dreamed about getting a total makeover, 5 fire engines pulled up a half a block away, closing off the street and running hoses up and down the sidewalk. I never did see flames, but apparently they felt they had plenty to do at the sushi bar wedged between a print shop and an Indian restaurant. Meanwhile, just over the line in Rockville, the metro station got shut down because of a "suspicious package." The news was full of...well, news...And I could look outside and see night drama playing out six stories below my hotel window.

Yeah, life's good and I'm right here amongst it.

My sister Flea, is circling Dulles, and then she'll be in on the shuttle. It's time to garner a bunch of continuing ed. credits before the deadline in June. We kinda slacked off while Dad was sick...not that we've ever been anything but last minute girls. We're catching up on all the latest psychotherapy techniques.

But we'll be out in the thick of the world too...Flea says she hasn't had good Vietnamese food in 10 years...and if I can just find a salon that can work miracles, on my time table...well, we'll declare this little jaunt a success.

More tomorrow!

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