Places to Be

[Note: Formatting and all other errors caused by… Honestly, I blame you.]

“You hardly get off your couch any given day! Don’t you ever feel like doing something? Anything?”

“Sorry — our surroundings and activities would have me believe we’re eating at The Diner, and past communication with you gave me the impression we would meet friends at The Fox after this. I hadn’t realized none of this amounted to ‘something.’”

“I mean we could get out of town some weekend–”

“To a place with shittier museums, art, food, drinks…”

“What I’m saying is all we do is hop all over town and it’s getting old. We’re just walking to and sitting at certain places in a certain order, then shuffling the deck when it gets stale. Well the shuffling’s stale too. If we didn’t go out all the time–”

“I like the places we go to. It’s why I go to them. And it has seemed to be the reason you do so, too. And for christ’s sake, we haven’t even eaten at the same place so far this month! We spend too much time at The Fox, though, that’s true. But that’s because The Fox is a known gravitational anomaly.”

“Wouldn’t you want to go back to Baltimore for a day or two?”

“Not if it’s how I left it.”

“But you lived there–”

“And left for a reason. DC is so so much better.”

“But I’ve never been there!”

“Point taken. But I know you pretty well, yeah? And I know Baltimore pretty well. Combined, this knowledge makes me sure that the two of you have nothing to say to one another.”

“Great! Now I don’t have to think for myself!”

“Good. Because that was the goal. Didn’t want m’dear getting a headache!”

“Shit — dunno where that came from. Sorry.”

“It’s OK. Unless you’re getting sick of the gender-equity thing?”

“No, being treated like a human is well and good. …But OK — I’m just feeling so… Squirmy. Restless. Lately.”

“You feel like a tangle of nerves, a heap of copper wire so rusted it’s brittle, and every next second will be the one that sends it all off some terrible precipice. You’ll smash into the ground,  your wiring will explode into an angry ball of blue lightning, the image of yourself will shatter into murderous shapes. The screaming electric mass, however, that instant re-inhabits what its rebuilt and you’re still you, still a twisted gore, perched back at the edge of a cliff you know you’ll fall off.”

“Wow. Get stuck in the bad place for a sec, honeydew?”

“Maybe a bit irritable, too? It’s various involuntary systems’ way of encouraging you to get more H like you smoked last night. You need a Valium.”

“Should I take…”

“I’ll give you one-quarter of my Klonopin. Which is half a mig, still.”

“I can’t believe you can take three of those pills a day.”

“I didn’t know until recently that, apparently, they’re so strong. Half of one knocks people out, and I take one the second I wake up! I’m not normal until it kicks in. I couldn’t be normal without it.”

“You just can’t be normal in any way, anyway. …I think when people use ‘normal,’ they very often mean ‘boring.’”

“Anyway, after your gallon of coffee, and under these circumstances, we won’t have to put you to bed. It won’t knock you out.”

“Speaking of bed, we don’t do it as much as we used to.”

“Ahem! Hold up — sorry. Ice cube. …OK, the choking hazard aside, I really love it when you do that.”

“Complain about being undersexed?”

“Throw something up for discussion that, for most people, would fester for months before finally erupting during a yelling match. …Here’s that. It takes full effect in an hour-and-a-half. Don’t make me explain why.”

“I won’t, by way of thanks.”

“Noted and duly appreciated.”

“OK: sex.”

“Well… When we get home, at least one of us is half-passed-out. So that cuts into nighttime fun. You haven’t been feeling it — no matter how pitifully I hump your leg — in the mornings lately. And you’ve been working late on a project. Further, said project has you stressed, which helps one drink more, which can make one have sex less. When is your presentation?”


“I’ll be naked in your living room when you get home.”


“Well, not nude. But I will be annoyingly eager, having thought of it every five minutes from now until then.”

“Guess that’ll do.”

“But really, with the project-thing done — well, at least you’ll be getting home before sunset. So there’s that. …How about from now on whenever I get stiff at a weird time I make it your problem, too?”

“So a Degas at the Gallery does it for you and what? You screw me in the Rotunda?”

“No, though that would be amazing. Fantastic acoustics. …OK, I didn’t think earlier, but now I’m thinking if people are around and we’re standing, pressing into you will keep things PG. And everyone loves PDA, so everyone wins.”

“Let’s see how the system works this week, then reevaluate.”

“Fair. And whenever one of us is randy, freaking let the other know — I mean, if there’s a reasonable way of bringing the matter to a resolution.”

“So the solution, as understand it, is this: From now on you’ll press your dick against me whenever you’re hard and tell me you wanna fuck.”

“Hey, I’m doing my bit. What have you got?”

“Enacting kinks, fantasies. That kinda thing.”

“Like it. Go first.”

“Whaddaya mean?”

“Say something you wanna do.”

“Man. …OK. Outside.”

“Stole mine. I don’t wanna be seen though.”



“Yeah buddy!”

“Look, when we leave, I’m already gonna have to use the press-on-dick routine. Continue later? It’ll also give me time to go through my mind’s ‘Savage Love’ archives for ideas. …Oh, idea one: No pegging.”

“Why did you immediately think of that?”

“Discussion about the word and act took up half a year. That, and I really don’t want to get pegged.”


“Freudian. Anal. Mom. Oedipus rips his eyes out. Bad stuff.”

“Are we ready?”

“For what?

“For to leave.”


“Did I already–”

“Receipt’s in your pocket. …Jacket pocket, Trust Issues.”

“It’s a reflex!”

“The reflex won’t be satisfied until you re-rediscover that jacket’s inside pocket, OCD.”

“Said the Pot to the Kettle.”

“Wow. Adams Morgan is so much better without people.”


“Any Friday at midnight the intersection is about closed down, you know.”

“Oh. Hate people doing what you did when you were their age.”

“Eh. I was at the riots, not a participant in them.”


“And I’ve never sought to make my drunken sloppiness someone else’s affair. Especially a stranger’s, preferably when I’m shirtless.”

“You’re never sloppy nor shirtless anyway.”

“I so much love that the sidewalks aren’t clear!”

“Yeah, what’s with the shuffle-walk?”

“I love — like a kid loves, I mean — I love it purely for the reason that I love it… Kicking fallen leaves around. Just like I love fall in DC.”

“All two weeks of it…”

“Pfff. No shit. It’s gone when you blink. …Every year I eventually find myself wishing I spent more time doing something while the weather was like this.”

“Instead of reading and playing PS3?”

“I think the problem is the ‘something.’ I haven’t formed a clear notion of what ‘something’ would consist of.”

“Fucking semantics.”

“A lot of people believe language makes us unintelligible to others. To ourselves, even. Too much meaning, history, et cetera behind every word. Like the thought I’m having now, and translating to you as spoken words, is adulterated by that translation. And so one can never say exactly what one means.”

“And the doctors are sure it isn’t your obsession with seemingly random, certainly esoteric, shit like this that causes your headaches?”

“When did intelligent discussion fall out of fashion?”

“I dunno. But it may be coming back around… I think it was cool like seven years ago.”

“Huh. Wonder if we’ll ever see ultrasuede again.”

“Oh god. I think Uggs were seven years ago, too.”


“That was hinky. Just now it seemed like you smiled, but your lips didn’t move. …I think I witnessed the first face-smile.”

“I just thought that I’m kicking leaves from Adams Morgan to Dupont Circle, am with a hot girl who wants to have more sex with me, and just left the only diner that should be allowed to call itself ‘The Diner.’ Next we’re gonna spend the day on The Fox’s patio with the strongest drinks in town and the worst enablers for friends.”

“Yep. That’s Sunday.”

“That’s something.”