Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Rainy Weekend

It feels as though it has been raining since we got back from Florida. I know that's probably not entirely true, but the weather was foul this past weekend: grey and overcast, misty when it wasn't downright raining a cold January rain.

This winter has been warm. Relatively speaking. I guess we shouldn't complain, but at least snow is pretty. I'd take snow over cold rain any day.

I know I start many posts commenting on the weather. Believe me, in describing this past weekend, that's probably for the best. I've been spending the past several weeks at work getting ready for Inauguration Day.

Thursday was surprisingly busy. It was the last day of the outgoing administration. My boss gave my two fellow staffers who drive to work the day off -- thinking it was going to be slow and thinking they would have trouble navigating the maze of road closures. He was right on the second point, at least. I ended up working over 12 hours, opening the office at 6:00 a.m. and finally walking out the door a little after 6:30 p.m.

Me and the kids were off from work and school respectively on Friday, and we spent most of the day helping Elise get ready to go to the Women's March on Washington on Saturday. After running to the camera store for film and Target for a battery to recharge her cell phone, we headed over to Lauren's house in D.C. where Elise would spend the night before heading down to the National Mall early on the red line.

All I wanted to do was get drunk when I got home. Thankfully, the beltway was quiet and I made it home in time to get the kids in bed and watch a sci-fi movie. Fortunately, I didn't wake up with too much of a hangover. Try explaining that to the kids. I let them watch cartoons while I ran on the treadmill. I recently discovered that I run at least 30 seconds per mile faster when I listen to music and cranked up the FloRida.

Periodically throughout the day, I checked Facebook for updates from the march. I decided to take the kids to a trampoline place since it was raining. As we drove out to Manassas, we passed the Vienna-Fairfax metro station on 66. The digital sign on the highway said the metro parking lot was full. Come to find out, it would be the second-busiest day ever for the metro rail system. Elise didn't report any problems getting into town, but she would tell me later she had to bail on the train coming back out of the city as she started to get a panic attack for the crowded train.

I paid $16 per kid to let them jump on trampolines for an hour. I had to buy special "trampoline socks" at $2 a pop, too. I didn't know there was such a thing as trampoline socks, but I didn't argue. The socks were pink (which seemed appropriate given the circumstances) and had rubber mesh on the bottom. They reminded me of gardening gloves. Anyway, it was the best $55 I spent that weekend, not knowing who the jumping was more cathartic for: them or me. We arrived at 11:40 and the kids jump in block of 60 minutes which start on the half-hour. We could start right away, but we would lose 10 minutes of jump time, so we decided to wait 20 minutes before starting. We sat on the bench and watched the scoreboard clock count down like the waning seconds in a basketball game trickling out of the bottom of an hourglass, until the clock struck 12:00:00, and the kids launched themselves from the bench and onto the trampolines. Watching the pure joy on their faces as they first took to the trampolines was the therapy I needed. It swept my mind away from all the other surreal nonsense that was happening in the real world. Shit kids don't care about or need to know about. All they cared about at that moment was jumping, and all I cared about at that moment was watching them jump, feeding off their joy like a vampire drinking the lifesoul out of one of its victims.

The kids spent a lot of time at the basketball hoop where you can jump on a trampoline and try to dunk the ball. There, I learned Sam has a wicked outside shot.

After jumping, we stopped at Chipotle for tacos before heading home. I ate a 2,000 calorie burrito and needed a nap, so Clementine and I curled up under the sheets of our stripped bed and fell fast asleep while the boys read.

When I got up, I checked social media again. I was watching history. Elise was making history! I knew something momentous was happening. I got goosebumps reading the headlines. I finally received a text message from her around 4:00 saying that they were headed back to Lauren's house. Two hours later, she still hadn't arrived, but she would soon and we would excitedly hop back on the beltway to hear how it went.

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