The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
I love D.C. (I will never refer to it as Washington – that’s the state right above Oregon, and Washingtonians are the people who live there.)
D.C. has a very official feeling to it. When you walk down the street, even if you’re nobody, you feel important. You feel like you’re a part of something that makes a difference.
After work on Friday, I drove down the New Jersey Turnpike, which turned into the Delaware Turnpike, followed by the Maryland Turnpike, cementing the fact that what I hate most about the East Coast is toll booths. I would also like to state for the record that anytime online directory services tells you it will take four hours to drive from Point A to Point B, they’re lying. They really mean five hours.
I circled the blocks near Jill’s apartment and parked. We chatted for a couple of hours before crashing around one in the morning. We managed to make it out the door at a decent hour on Saturday. Jill’s apartment is amazingly close to downtown Washington, and we passed the White House on our way to see the Annie Leibowitz exhibit at the Corcoran Museum.
The obligatory White House photo op.
The Annie Leibowitz exhibit was amazing. She has this stunning ability to take people and turn them into artwork. There were little paragraphs of commentary next to some of the photographs, and it was inspirational to read her stories of the pictures of celebrities and her international photojournalism from places like Rwanda and Sarajevo. After we finished Annie’s exhibit, we went over to the Ansel Adams exhibit. While Ansel Adams is also amazing, Jill and I both thought it didn’t compare to the stark emotions captured in the Annie exhibit.
While we walked through it, I felt my blood sugar drop, which actually surprised me since I left the apartment at 206 mg/dl. After popping a few glucose tablets and recovering, Jill and I decided to go find lunch near the George Washington University campus.
Jill told me earlier that morning that there were meetings at the World Bank, and as we walked passed the building, we spotted the police brigade.
What was even more amusing was the fact that Jill and I count find any protesters! There were a handful of college kids yelling “Boo!” on a street corner, but it was nothing compared to the three blocks of police officers, cop cars and city buses blocking the streets.
Jill and I spent the afternoon wandering through Georgetown and Dupont Circle, talking about where we grew up, where we went to college, our experiences moving to the East Coast (Jill is originally from Nebraska for those who haven’t read her blog) and our plans for the future. We also talked about diabetes and our experiences with high and low blood sugars, the pump, doctors and other people with diabetes. Jill had only met one other person with type 1 so it was very funny hearing her say, “I’ve never heard anyone else beeping!”
I also had a very interesting blood sugar experiment involving a Starbucks mocha frappaccino, but I’ll tell you that story tomorrow!
That night, we headed back to Dupont Circle to attend her friend Carrie’s housewarming party that was filled with law students and kamikazes. We even had headbands to rock the Japanese theme!
Bonus points to anyone who can explain what Jill’s headband means in relation to the kamikaze party!
There were dozens of people there, and I spent most of the time involved in this kind of conversation:
“So, are you a law student?”
“No, I live in New Jersey.”
“So are you from Nebraska?”
“No, I’m from Oregon.”
“So, how do you know Carrie?”
“How do you know Jill?”
“We both have diabetes.” (Okay, I know it’s a little weird to just announce that to random strangers, but I think it’s better than saying, “We met on the internet.” I mean, come on…)
At one point in the evening, Jill and I were talking with two guys, Mikey and Shrikhan. We were joking about Jill’s headband when Shrikhan said that he had studied English and journalism, not math.
“I did journalism!” I said, excited that I could actually talk to someone who wasn’t involved in the sciences. We chatted about journalism and public relations, and then Shrikhan asked me where I was from (see above conversation).
When we got to the “How do you know Jill?” question, I answered, “Oh, we both have type 1 diabetes.”
“Oh, me too,” he replies.
“Really?” I ask.
“Like… for real?”
He laughs and pulls out a Novo Nordisk insulin pen. Oh my god, oh my god, I thought, I really am a magnet for diabetics!
I point to my insulin pump in my pocket and we chat for about fifteen minutes about that. I give him the URL for my blog and then we take off in different directions.
I mosey on over to Jill.
“You know that guy we were talking to earlier, the Indian in the maroon sweater,” I ask.
“He has type 1 diabetes too!”
Jill’s eyes go wide, “No way!” I laugh. Later that evening we reconnect with Shrikhan and we chat about dorky stuff like insulin pumps, glucose meters and endocrinologists. It was an unbelievable encounter. I mean, sure I’m used to meeting diabetics on a regular basis, but usually at pre-planned events where I know there are going to be other diabetics. Not at some random house party three hundred miles from where I live!
I wish I could write a “How to meet diabetics without even trying” article, but I don’t even know how I do it!
P.S. Extra bonus points for the people who can tell me where the title of this blog post comes from!