Things To Do In DC When You're DEAD (tired)

PAGE V - Pain

That night was rough for me. Real rough. I had to make several unplanned runs to the bathroom, tried keeping myself hydrated in between regurgitations, and kept waking up in strange positions/places around my hotel room (like propped up behind the curtains; under the coffee table, rolled up in the comforter like a cocoon; and sitting at the desk chair naked, with my head on my iPhone like a pillow [the iPhone open to, with me apparently trying to guess a name and password to get in]). Like I said, it was a rough night.

I finally woke up for good at around 10AM, and found (to no real amazement) that I felt like absolute ass. My mouth was all dry and pukey, my eyes all red, my stomach an absolute Cuisinart blender of disgusting sounds and sensations. The only good news was that I didn't have a giant, hangover-sized headache (as surprising as that was, what with my dehydrated status), and I didn't have anything left inside me to vomit out. The bad news (well, some of it at least) was that even tap water was making me nauseous, I could barely stand due to weak legs and the pain of my stomach digesting itself, and I had no idea how I would be able to tour DC with Bloodberry and Firefly's Wash that day. I simply wanted to pass out again and hope my body would heal itself in the time I was unconscious... But then I remembered I wasn't a (total) pussy, and I couldn't give up a touristy day (what I LIVE for while in strange cities!) so easily. But as I reached for the phone to call Bloodberry and ask where and when we should all meet, it rang.

"OW! Ugghhhhhhhh," I answered. "My fuckin' heeeeeaaaaaaad (well, the loud noise from my phone did induce a slight migraine, I remember)..... What? Hello? Is this Satan?"

"Ummm, Rossman, are you up?" Bloodberry asked, very perkily. "We were starting to get hungry for lunch and thought we'd all go down to Chinatown to find someplace swanky and new to eat. You in?"

What went through my mind at that moment was this: Wow! People actually still want to hang out with me after last night! (And this was before I even got a look at my pictures on my camera from the party just 12 short hours before.) My second thought was this: Oh shit.... I don't know if I can even walk by a Chinese restaurant — let alone go inside and get surrounded by the smell of one — in this condition... Let alone walk to the subway to get transported to Chinatown....

But all I said was, "Sure... I'll, uh.... Hold on *GAG! DRY HEAVE!!!* Yeah, I'll meet you at the Metro station outside your hotel... If I'm alive. I seriously need to shower first though..."

Bloodberry didn't argue. That was smart.

Terrible terrible pain

No, that's really what I said. I even have a recording of me saying this and much more. Things like "Seriously, God, I will punch that baby over there in the stomach if you make this pain go away. Not enough?... Fuck, okay, I will shit on that hobo on that street corner if you just make it all end! And I'll throw in tripping that old hag trying to cross the street in front of that bus. That's how serious I am. FIX me, God!.... Christ.... What good are you?"

Chinatown, Jake

It was actually around 10:30 that I met Bloodberry and Firefly's Wash at the Metro station, and I didn't feel any better. I was a little more hydrated thanks to a few glasses of water and the shower, but I needed something in my stomach (either medicine or bland, bland food), and fast.

While waiting for our train I tried to casually ask Bloodberry what would be best for a stomach in such critical condition... Hypothetically, of course. Her face went white, her eyes opened wide, and she took a step away from me in case I was about to "Linda Blair" all over her. I assured her there was nothing left to come up anymore, and seeing as she and Firefly's Wash run a hotel and bar back in New Orleans, I thought she'd have plenty of hangover remedies to share from years of helping lush guests get their game back on after a few missteps during Mardi Gras or something. So as soon as our train got us to Chinatown the first thing we did was look for a pharmacy where I bought two giant bottles of orange Gatorade, and a case of "pink tablets" (generic brand). I drank most of one of the Gatorades, and chewed up and swallowed half the tablets before I even made it to the cashier. Within 2 blocks I was actually starting to feel slightly better. It's then that I saw my companions looking at me strangely, almost wary of my presence, and as I caught my reflection in the window we were passing I realized that I wasn't smiling. I probably hadn't even cracked a grin all morning. I must have looked and been acting like the world's biggest wet-blanket douchebag. So, I let a slight smile go to let them know I was trying to make the day not suck (well, I at least bared my teeth a little). Then we went looking for a Tapas restaurant we had passed between the subway station and the pharmacy.

Yup, we were in Chinatown and we went to a Tapas restaurant. But it was a GOOD Tapas restaurant, I promise you. Well, all the food Bloodberry and Firefly's Wash ordered looked great, and the bruschetta I nibbled on for an hour was tasty at least. And our waiter was a funny immigrant who we could mock because of his silly accent, so at least we had that.

Tapas! Tapasitas!

Honestly, I have no idea why these two saints didn't ditch me that day.

So we talked and talked, Bloodberry and Firefly's Wash ate and drank, and by the end of their meal I was probably back to about 75% of my former glory. This meant I could walk, smile freely, laugh, look for awesome picture moments, and all in all be a palatable companion again, but that last 25% meant I still could not eat anything of any real substance, nor drink anything stronger than uncarbonated colored water. But that would come soon enough. Those pink tablets were quite awesome. Bloodberry said the secret was they were laced with crystal meth. I told her 6 heads that that was simply ridiculous, and then I got on my Pegasus and flew up to Mt. Olympus for a well-earned toga party with the gods.

Lord of the Bling

Probably my biggest regret of the trip... Possibly the entire year! I wish that we had gone back and checked this show out. We found the theater it was playing in, and it was only an hour and a half production. An hour and a half! How the fuck did they cram three novels, and a combined 10+ hours of movie-time into one and a half hour production!?! Now I'll never fucking know! Damn you, Hobbitsesssssssss! Damn yous all to Hell!

After the Tapas we started touring the streets, looking for landmarks and museums, and generally just enjoying the town in as touristy a way as possible. We kept bumping into more and more groups of boy scouts the closer to the National Mall that we got though (which was really making me nervous... I think too many people in the same uniform in one place are never a good thing), but thank GOD the skies clouded over and we got that tornado warning just as we got to Museum Row, seeing as they were in the middle of a really, really ghey parade in the scouts' honor for some lame reason or another... And that's when it happened.

To back up a short bit, the three of us all groaned when we came upon the parade grounds, and almost in direct response to us the sun was hidden from view, and the winds started picking up to what must have been 30 or 40 miles per hour. Then the Homeland Security vans started moving down the streets with their sirens blaring and their loud speakers calmly shouting that there was a "terrible thunderstorm just five minutes away, with gusts of foul and terrible wind up to 60 mph... Oh, and a possible tornado. Goodnight everybody!" We were then advised to "SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY! This is not a drill. This thunderstorm cell (and possible tornado) will rape your will to live if you are caught outside in it. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY." That's when the fun began.

What followed was a live scene taken directly from the movie Airplane! People started screaming, boy scouts started shoving the elderly out of their way to make it to the closest museum doors and safety, idiots were tripping over themselves and falling to the ground, taking their wives/husbands/children with them as they face-planted into the streets and sidewalks. It was so magical! We actually just stared in amazement at the circus in front of us for a few minutes before the Homeland Security vans started yelling at us again, then we joined the melee and elbowed our way to the closest museum, laughing like we just got a dose of the Joker's "Smilex" gas.

Die, scouts, DIE!

Damn! Unfortunately you really can't see the wind in action, and I didn't get one of those Homeland Security vans in the picture, but I believe the emptiness of the streets, and the one boy scout who looks like he's peeing his pants due to the thunder, emphasizes the craziness of the afternoon. Dammit! You can't even see the dead body in the shrubbery! I did a shitty job taking pics that day!

The closest museum was unfortunately The National Gallery of Art, and all of us were sure we didn't want to spend the entire quarantined afternoon in THAT one, so we braved the growing winds, and ran as fast as Bloodberry could sprint in her heels, all the way to the National Museum of Natural History (or as the fundies call it, "The Museum of You're Going To Rot In Hell For Believing Anything In This Place!").

Just as we made it to the front stairs though, the major storm hit. Man, I wish I had the video on my camera rolling. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before: as the heavy winds whooshed in, columns of dirt and dust blown up from L'Enfant Square Park (just behind the museum) came shooting out between the giant museum buildings all the way down the street (making things look like a mini 9/11 just after a tower fell), while people continued to panic and scream, the Homeland Security vans continuously screeched out their panic-inducing messages, and the biggest drops of rain I'd seen in years started pelting us from an angle that seemed physically impossible due to the limitations of gravity. It was glorious! We didn't even shove our way into the museum for a little while — we were just so amused with all the chaotic shit erupting all around us. It was almost like we were in the middle of a hologram set during the Apocalypse, like we were just spectators from another time who had nothing to fear in the middle of Hell on Earth. The three of us laughed our asses off at the insanity, like a group of hyenas who were just told the Chi-Chi Joke for the first time... Then Zeus showed up. The THUNDERCLAP (all caps on purpose) that broke up our hysterical chuckles made us run the last few steps up to the relative safety of the museum even faster than that time I was told there was free beer to the 1st ten people at the company picnic a few years back (Patty from HR's kid is still in traction for NOT GETTING THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY even though I warned the little fucker to "get the fuck out of my way").

Smithsonian of PERIL!!!

Despite the fact that we then found ourselves packed into the security screening hallway like Cubans in a life raft, we felt strangely safer... Even though all it would have taken to kill us at that point was one fat boy scout tripping backwards, causing a massive wave of fatty, tourist flesh to fall back upon us and suffocate/crush us to death.

Don't move, Ian!

Goddamn the boy scouts. Honestly, this was like the fourth take of me in this shot. Those annoying little turds kept jumping up behind me just as Bloodberry clicked the shutter, or tried to stick their hands in front of the lens because they are all faggots. Luckily I had Firefly's Wash on my side though, and when Bloodberry wasn't looking he'd join me in tripping or pushing the little pukes into roped-off exhibits wherein they'd either hurt themselves or set off an alarm and get carted away by guards that made Bull Shannon from Night Court look like a cuddly, bald Monchichi. God I hope there's a juvie pound-you-in-the-ass prison they took them all too. They deserved prison time. And forced tats. And gang rapes.

Once we got into the museum proper we had a pretty good time. All of us seemed to like the dinosaur exhibits, Bloodberry couldn't get enough of the rocks and meteorite stuff, and the museum wing that dealt with the greatest of apes, and his evolution from monkey to man (Suck it, fundies!), had so many incredibly awesome displays that were set up so absolutely perfect for a dozen punchlines each!

Ooooh, you got me, Sauron. Good one.

Anything I did while under the influence of the Palantir cannot be held accountable under the court of law. That's in the goddamn Constitution, motherfuckers!

We spent several hours just walking along, pointing at the funny models, and marveling at the creepiness of some of the ancient ocean dwellers (and the pants-shittingly scary land-walking, meat-eating monsters) before Bloodberry got a call on her cell from an old friend (whom my two companions were planning to meet for dinner that day). It was around 4 o'clock when Bloodberry got the call and told us that her friend Hera would meet us inside the museum (seeing as we weren't quite done with the whole thing, and Hera — we were told — has lived in DC for a while, and loves all the museums in town. Especially the Native American History Museum... I didn't hold that against her though).

Heath dead.

Why so serious, Heath?