A Place to Call Home
by Kristin Stadum
"Where are you from?" he asks, this friend of a friend.
"Originally or currently?"
He screws up his face.
"Ohio," I say, "but I've lived here for almost a decade. . . . When can I say that I'm from D.C.?"
"Never," says the friend in the middle. "You can never say you're from D.C., not to someone born here."
I screw up my own face and stew for a minute or five. It isn't fair. I chose D.C. I continue to choose D.C. -- this is my home.
Every day, I walk to work past the Library of Congress, the Capitol, the Smithsonian, and I pass the spot where I waited in line to see Rosa Parks lying in honor, the same spot where I met the couple who came decades earlier to hear Dr. King speak at the Lincoln Memorial. It's watching fireworks from those same steps. It's lending beds, couch and floor for the inauguration.
Washington is interns and summer nights on the waterfront. Tourists who stand on the left while locals pass on the right. Taking pictures of strangers on the Mall.
It is baseball at Nationals Park. Screen on the Green. The Millennium Stage. Waiting in line for bluebucks at Market Lunch.
It's homeless people and senators. It's protests, marches and marathons, all snarling traffic. But I don't need to drive. I know the Metro; I'm learning the buses.
Some nights, I mingle with political wonks and schoolteachers, Marines and meteorologists all at the same time, all in the same bar on Capitol Hill. I remember the fires at the Capitol Lounge, Eastern Market and the Georgetown Library. I carry a library card, and I use it. I swim in a free local pool because I can. Because I live here.
"I might be from Ohio, but Washington's home."
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Lea2 | February 27, 2009 9:31 AM
Posted by: onlyghost | February 27, 2009 9:33 AM
Posted by: thompsonpt_2005 | February 27, 2009 10:16 AM
Posted by: Nick20 | February 27, 2009 12:58 PM
Posted by: ecjwlove1 | February 27, 2009 3:54 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.