My favourite thing about traveling is to sit around and imagine what life would be like living here. As a writer, this obviously comes natural to me, and I’m never bothered by the realistic or practical side of it. I’m not even neccessarily interested in what my own life would be like. I might spend a few minutes thinking about great place to write at (Busboys and poets) or where I would buy my morning coffee and so on, but in general I prefer to think about what it would be like to be one of any of the strangers I see passing by on the street.
My friend lives in this apartment block where all the apartments consists mainly of tall glass windows and overlooks a sort of courtyard below, so I begin and end each day with a cigarette on the balcony, looking into other people’s lives. It’s like having your very own dollhouse. With real people. If I had lived here I would probably never get any work done. I’d just sit there drinking coffee and staring at people.
Imaginary life in DC fascinates me. First of all, I’m pretty sure it would be temporary. People move here for work from all over the country and all over the world. Secondly, they work. They all look smart and professional and effective, even when you see them out for a drink at the end of the day. People are lawyers or analysts for any of the many federal governments or work for initiatives for racial justice, and they are all liberals. Apparently a man even started his own dating app for Trump supporters because he was tired of women just getting up and leaving the date when he told them he worked for Trump. DC is a sort of nerdy political version of Sex and the city where everyone is beautiful and single and out about town, but where everyone talks about the recent development in the Mueller investigation instead of their dating problem. Or go on a date and make small talk about the latest disturbing changes in immigration policy. I never see any children. I’m sure a lot of people working in DC have families, but maybe they’re hidden away in the suburbs?
At the moment the dollhouse is all dark and quiet, and I’m not sure if it’s because it’s Sunday and people are still asleep, or because regardless of the weekend people have already gone to the office. DC feels like the kind of city where work never sleeps.