MAPPING THE CITY: DC Places, Part
THE TIME I SAW RIP TAYLOR WHILE WALKING HOME FROM WORK
OUTSIDE THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Late spring, so the sun shone golden
on the tidy brick of the hotel
while I cut south on 29th from M, headed to the C & O canal.
He was going north, loaded with bags from the tony shops.
His toupee? Perfect. He wore a festive shirt, yet no makeup.
His ruddy skin shocked me. Was it him? But the mustache:
unmistakable. He didn't notice me, though I was still a hottie
in my twenties. My then-recently dead dad would have said
he had too much sugar in his tank. I mean, any man who wears
that much hairspray...so I was free to stare. He looked
flustered, rushed, miserable, beginning to sweat, and I thought
what's the use of fame, however moderate? Though unnoticed
by the rest, he seemed unaware of his good fortune, to be
walking, alive and free, in that city, in that golden light. A pity.
Down on the Mall the cherry trees tossed their bright confetti.
whose first book of poems, Conspiracy of Leaves, was published
by Plain View Press earlier this year, spent the first four years of
her married life living in a basement in Georgetown (while her husband,
a DC native, attended medical school there) and working downtown. She
walked her 2.9-mile commute because it was faster than taking the bus
and kept her spirit lifted rather than grinding it up into little pieces.
She currently lives in Ithaca, NY but still makes it back to the capitol
on occasion to visit family. Her website: http://wbabiak.wordpress.com.
in Volume 11, Number 4, Fall 2010.