Tuesday, July 05, 2005

travels in virginia

I’m in Virginia for a week this summer to attend a wedding and do some visiting. A collection of random observations along the way:

7-11 middleburg, va:
in one small town in northern Virginia around exit 27 on interstate 66, we enter a small town. there’s not much going on there, which is part of its charm. I notice the rotund woman who runs the 7-11 as she spruces up the coffee area and we engage in small talk about the flavors they offer along with the various tools of personalization—various powders and liquids to dump into your mug to hide the taste of your coffee. it struck me, that me and this lady, we’re able to engage in dialog for 10 minutes, when we seemingly have nothing in common but coffee. like spectating sports for the simple minded, coffee is some kind of substance, like einstein’s ether, that allows us to travel across our sociological separation to find something in common. I see two young kids behind the counter, representatives of the future: register 1 is a bored teen who had previously explained to the older heavyset woman what activities were involved in closing the store the night before. register 2 contains the white boy rapper persona: speaking quickly but with long pauses in between his sentences, southern accentuated rapper boy goes into what he was up to last night with the mop and all, you know G.

at the 7-11, its just been so long since I’ve hung out in a convenience store, I think I spent 20 minutes in there…just soaking in the culture there. so many people wandering in from the neighborhood. when I was a kid in indiana the store was called quality quick and it was right down the street. we used to hang out there, grab ourselves a few 25cent little Debbie snacks (can you still believe they are a quarter???) and harass the employee. was open 24 hours, which means we could sneak out at 2am and wander down there and chat with the folks who stop by. most often it was teens buying smokes. they sold LOTS of twinkies and snack cakes too, and later in life we would find out why.

just outside the 7-11: two homosexual black males sitting in their mini van trying to find their way on a map (the homosexuality presumed by their public displays of affection). out in the street, car drives by with the dukes of hazard horn which goes off twice…America is fusing this tension together, the melting pot as dynamic as it ever was, and me…I’m off to spend the night in a house where nobody is home and the owners I’ve never met. all I’ve got is a combination to the garage door and a warning to not let the dogs out when I go in. in the morning, and I still don’t know the name of this hospitable suburbanite in northern Virginia, but if you’re out there, whoever you are…thanks!

travels at the 1763 inn in upperville, va (july 4, 2005) :

spent last night in a little inn in western virginia about 20 minutes from the w. va. border. turns out the inn was formerly owned by george Washington. western va. is beautiful. its quiet too. none of the suburban sprawl and traffic that permeates northern/eastern D.C. area. Apparently, we were instructed by the caretakers that the room had a resident field mouse that was not to be disturbed. anyway, it was a nice quiet place there, with a pond and everything, actually built in 1763. this place had character. no tv’s in the room (sweet) but a tiny little fridge in the bathroom. water came from the well out back…we were a long way from any sort of public water works potential. its exactly the kind of place one can wander to regroup and recharge. works been kinda insane lately, with my manager deciding to take another opportunity along with some other members of the team being out for one reason or another. I really only seem to feel I need a vacation about once every couple years, and this was one of those vacations, and the timing couldn’t be better since we just finished the mid year review process. anyway, having a few days out in the country like this is very relaxing.

during the day I took a short 4 mile run down the street here. its was more challenging than I anticipated, immediately developed a blister on my foot L. I hope this does not impact later running adventures.

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