The alarm clock went off (to Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation) at 5:45 AM. I finished packing two days ago (it calms me down to get stuff done early) so all I had to do was shower and my morning ablutions. I slid into my uber and had a lovely conversation with Estee my Uber driver. She’s from Nigeria and we talked about how we were both from shithole countries (she used the word first as if I knew I would like her as soon as she did!). We talked about Nigeria and sibling dynamics and corruption and resale value of Honda cars and immigrants, even if they lived half their life in their country of origin, being viewed as pseudo-Americans when they visit their homelands, or as Estee put it “I was not Nigerian enough for them anymore.”
I’m sitting st the Alexandria Amtrak station. It’s sunny and 37 degrees and I could be in the lounge but I’m properly dressed for the weather and it’s peaceful and the air is fresh out here and I’m amused by the sight of my breath coming out of my nostrils. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always been entertained by being able to see my breath. I guess it makes me feel like a dragon. I wish I was a dragon.
The train is only 10 minutes late which is pretty good for an American railroad company. I settle into a big comfy seat and the car is half full so no one is sitting next to me.
I get a couple hours of job search before I give in to the gentle jostling of the train grab a nap.
As is typical with Amtrak, their tech is a billion years old. I’ve had my iPhone plugged in for two hours and we’re only at 75% battery. Also, the free WiFi may not cost money but it will make you pay with some of your life because it is so goddamn slow. And we had a 45-minute delay near Richmond. I honestly believe the Auto industry secretly controls Amtrak. Trains could be such a great way to travel but Amtrak makes you pine for the airline industry.
I finally get to Williamsburg, my college town. I meet my lunch companion and we enjoy a great college deli-style lunch and reminisce about my college days and bitch about how Trump is an affront.
The sun is fully out now by noon and it’s 70 degrees with a nice breeze. Only a few white wisps mar the blue sky and I’m sitting on a bench outside the college bookstore (I showed some school spirit and bought some merch). It’s pretty much perfect right now.
And holy crap all the coeds are way hotter than when I went here. Or maybe I just didn’t appreciate it. Well, I’m sure I didn’t appreciate it but there is a marked difference. The only thing these 2018 coeds have in common with their 1990’s predecessors is that I’m invisible to both cohorts.
That’s cool, though. I ain’t tryin’ to get with any of ‘em.
Now I’m at my buddy’s house. Unlike me, he made sound life choices and he is not dumb. He has a very nice home in a nice neighborhood and his wife is nice and even his kids are nice and normally I do NOT like kids. But in a lovely bit of serendipity, none of the kids that belong to any of my procreating friends are annoying. I like to think it’s because I choose my friends wisely. I’m always on the lookout for skills I can claim.
The evening unfurled into a few glasses of wine on his porch overlooking the water. We subsequently relocated to a local gastropub where I ate delicious pseudo-British food and tastier beers. And I got to have a four-hour conversation with two of my oldest and dearest friends.
There’s nothing that compares to sitting with an old friend and exchanging parts of each other’s souls.