up late on a school night

yesterday was a warm, hazy evening. welcome to May, the haze said. and I needed to get out and into it, so after the sun went down, my brother picked me up. I wasn’t paying attention to my phone, so he came around the back of my apartment building, sidearmed a few rocks at my window and yelled my name. and we went out driving.

Washington is a busy place. even now it’s impressing this truth upon me — a police siren, for instance, just went down the street a block over at full blast at 11:40 pm.

and now back to silence. tomorrow morning the blocks between here and my office will be flush with people and traffic, but if you time it right, if you cut out in the evening for a cruise — and this cruise I speak of, there is an art to it — you can push aside the reality that is DC’s high population density and familiarize yourself with Wasington’s streetscape, with the way it’s laid out, how it’s connected, all without the hassle of noise. no traffic, no horns. everything very zen.

these rides don’t necessarily lead anywhere save to open and rolling conversation. there is usually only a vague goal: to the car wash. to buy a Snapple. to Taco Bell. but the details don’t matter. to hell with them. because sometimes when reality piles up on me, when I’m stumped as to what to do with myself, what the next move will be and when everything feels a litle hopeless, these expeditions serve as a personal lodestar … or maybe as an anchor of sorts. I’m not sure which is the better metaphor.

“and we’re off,” my brother deadpanned as I slouched into the passenger seat. “who knows where this will lead?” hell if I knew then that it would be a 7-Eleven near Takoma Park. but really, it didn’t matter. because truth is, it’s never hopeless. it just takes a little bit of clarity to recognize that, on occasion.