Sensory Clash: Washington, D.C

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The streets of D.C are wider, quieter, flatter, cleaner. D.C isn’t as frantic as New York. Or as gritty as Philly. Or as schizophrenic as Austin. There’s something immaculate about D.C., instead, something steely and modern and calm.

From up here, I watch the slow scenes of the city unfold. Cars whizz by, colorful legos beneath our legs. Human beans cross the crosswalks, Beatles-style, almost in slo-mo. Lotion pink berries bloom in angry succession.

It’s my third time in Washington D.C. I welcome the sensory familiarities.

There’s a distinct vibe to the D.C metro, clash of smells and sights and sounds. Smell of metros, musk. Row of escalators, steep. Metro-card, bendy and flappy. Gripped tightly in my palm, lest I accidentally drop it–it’s our way out, this card.

We’re encircled by large beige arches. I’m constantly reminded: we are in a giant tunnel.

The subway’s clean. Stops are quick. There’s a sign above a girl’s head that indicates where we are, and the announcer’s clean voice projects from the speakers, and she’s telling us we’re at this stop, that stop. It’s not our stop, and then it is, and we hop off the subway, back into the station, where we scan our Metro cards on the way out.

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We exit Union Station. It’s a high-end train station, fancy airport-style. It’s got spiral staircases leading up to shops and restaurants and balcony areas on the second floor. Statues and pillars greet us from the entrance. Out and back, in and through, and we’ve hopped onto the train again, and we’re hailing home.

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Symphony of Summer

 

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There’s the sound of cicadas, humming and dancing and singing to warmth. Throaty chirps abuzz in harmony, orchestra of din: the symphony of summer. Below the snaking branches and muttering cicadas is a small person! eyes wide and filled with wonder.

Eyes wide and filled with wonder, and maybe nostalgia, too, for muggy days and buzzing nights. Because cicadas are warm June days, broken shells left behind on beige garage doors, sweat sticking to the backs of our legs, taco shops circled once, twice, seven times around the city.

3.11.18 | Daily Art

Sky’s the Limit

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Stretch of road, tire on gravel, a girl in heels shamelessly belting 90’s R&B. The noises start to meld together. Concrete becomes water. Wind turns into rain. Rubber curls into oil. Then the occasional lull: a red light, early hours in the moment. The occasional siren: burglar! And the occasional presence of the stranger boy, with the unevenly long hair and dusty grey hat.

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We used to meander around aimlessly the city. It wasn’t romantic, but a romantic idea, one of lostness and freeness and direction-less-ness that, when played off right, seemed so alive. The sky was the limit; there were no limits, but of course there were limits. It just never felt it at the time.

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Grasping for straws—striped plastic straws. Grasping for hair. Grasping the neck of a bottle. Grasping my hand. Grasping the concept of centripetal motion, that adding up countless angles equates to a circle. Grasping the notion of love, the many forms of love.

La Vie Este Belle| Photo Diary

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When I was five I’d collect little bugs outside for recess, then, much to my parents’ dismay, make a home for them in the deep-sewn pockets of my green plaid jumper. I thought they were cute. The fear of insects is taught, not ingrained. In some countries, insects are food; people’ll fry bugs on a stick and sell them in the streets.

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Bugs on a stick. Two days before New Years my friend and I ventured into the closest-to-hipster part of town, where my boyfriend and I watched a comedy show over quesadillas and orangey drinks. We found a little shop harkening back to the 60’s, where they sold pop sodas in glass bottles of every flavor imaginable–coffee pop! mayo soda! blueberry pie pop!–as well as ant candies. There was even an open flap on the top and I ran my fingers over the pink sugary glaze, lumpy dead ants like roadbumps in the street.

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We skirted around the city, from a cafe to the contemporary museum to the design district to the art museum, where a stolid quiet leftover Frida sat staring out at the viewer. My friend swiped tirelessly across the orange wall. Left swipe, right right, left swipe, left swipe. Relentless Tindering!

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On another note, do you ever wonder if so-or-so–say, the quiet girl in middle school gym class whom you never spoke to and suspected didn’t like you but was generally indifferent towards and had never had a boyfriend–ever got a boyfriend?

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Sanguine, Home | Photo Diary

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Home: a place in your heart you carve out for yourself, or others, or maybe both. A feeling, sweet familiarity, dirty laundry strewn on your closet floor. Taut–a rubber band–tension stretches and snaps, never breaks.

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The sky doesn’t look blue enough for Home to exist as an ideal.

And the windshield filter, fade to cyan, isn’t convincing enough. The air outside is dry and greyish, the space too dullish, save for the heaps of redhead leaves on the lawn, piled like p-u-d-d-i-n-g for the mice to run through.

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I tried to make lemon pudding after reading a children’s book on lemon pudding (fluffy and light as the seas, I think), except I left the heavy cream unstirred for too long and I think it may have curdled. So two days later I scooped the globbish lemony attempt out furtively into the trash. When I made coconut milk rice a week later–mango sticky rice, to be exact, and a restaurant’s spitting mimicry–I made sure to stir continuously this time.

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Vacillation between ambivalence, between remembering the past and barging towards the future. The sky is simple in its beauty above the loud hacking of machines and construction.