Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Roger That

It's undoubtedly some kind of Murphy's law.

If I make plans to get away, even for 30 hours, life will start lobbing things at me.

Arriving at the Amtrack station yesterday, I hear my name being paged, never a good sign. It happened years ago as I walked into National Airport and I still recall the sense of dread.

Fortunately, it was nothing major and the Amtrack attendant who spoke to me got a kick out of hearing that I don't have a cell phone.

And by a kick, I mean he looked at me like I had two heads.

The train ride there and back was an excuse to get lost in Nigel Nicolson's "Portrait of a Marriage," the story of Bloomsbury Group member Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, but mainly about the torrid affair she carried on with a woman during that marriage.

Juicy as it was, it didn't even begin to go into her later affair with writer Virginia Woolf.

Dinner was at Vin 909 in Easport, a bungalow turned wine cafe with a serious bent for local sourcing and the owner sitting at a bar stool overseeing the kitchen in full view.

Hanging on to summer with both hands, I enjoyed Bieler Pere et Fils Rose with a Maryland blue crab roll on brioche for two reasons really.

First, when in Rome and all (Maryland, crabs, hello?) and because under the menu entry was a notation, "If you don't know what something is, ask your server, not your Smartphone."

It's almost a philosophy, like stop and smell the roses or you only live once.

That was followed with Groundworks Farm chicken enchiladas with housemade mole sauce and Fontina on a local tortilla. It was a whole lot of local.

I don't know that the chocolate pot de creme could claim the same, although for all I know the fresh whipped cream came from a nearby cow.

Driving home from the train station, I saw a guy cross I-95 on foot, easily the stupidest thing I'd ever seen on that soul-sucking stretch of highway.

Once back in the Commonwealth, I needed to hit the ground running since e-mail informed me I had five new assignments come in since I'd left the day before.

My hired mouth took precedence, meaning I had eating to do.

Parking next to a late '60s red VW bug exactly like the one I learned to drive on (it had been my boyfriend Roger's and I learned to pop the clutch by coasting downhill to avoid the trauma of getting it into first gear), I soon found myself surrounded by eaters and drinkers.

I joined the latter group via the beautifully delicate Austrian Mittelbach Rose, not even listed on the menu yet, but a fine replacement for the Renegade Rose I know so well that was.

Talking to the couple on my right, I made an assumption about him liking corned beef and she turned to me and said, "I've known him 30 years and I had no idea he liked it."

Honey, all men like corned beef, at least in my experience.

On my right, I had a couple who claimed they were cheating on their spouses together.

Hers was out of town on business and his was "singing for Jesus" so they'd decided to wile away the time with some beverages and chatter.

When she asked the bartender for a bold red wine, an Italian blend was offered. "I don't do Italian reds, so I'm not going to like it," she said, taking a sip. "Oooh, this is wonderful. Now you're going to make me admit I do like Italian reds."

She insisted I take a sip to validate that it was a lovely blend of Merlot and Corvina (it was) and once my lipstick marks were on her glass we were fast friends.

And in the "isn't it a small world?" category, it turns out I had met someone they both knew and when I shared what this man had said to me the first time he met me, they both apologized for him.

"That's just the way he is!" they explained. "Don't pay him any attention next time."

Don't worry. I didn't last time.

I met a woman close to my age and with our young bartender, Chelsea, discussed how names go in and out of vogue and how neither of us had known a single Jordan or Jessica when we were in elementary school.

Likewise, no one names their babies Denise or Debbie anymore.

She was drinking an iridescent green cocktail called "Consensual Sex on the Beach" and tried to convince me to do the same, but I just couldn't go there.

At least in drink form.

I'd had consensual sex on the beach with Roger way back when and I'd learned one very important lesson: use a beach towel.

But that's a story for another day when I don't have all this work Murphy's Law delivered staring me in the face.

That sand gets everywhere.


  1. corned beef, amtrak (again) vw, [i had a 1960 faded red], proper use of a beach towel... yep! you've hittin' all the marks... sounds like a nice trip, bet i'd have enjoyed it also..