WE ARRIVE AT FAIRFAX from Mississippi. Neighbors are friendly. They allow us to use their telephones. But we feel that there is some difference between a town in Mississippi and Fairfax. Neighbors brought cake, flowers and helped put up curtains when we moved to Mississippi three years ago. City neighbors don't like to greet new neighbors unless you visit them.
Unpacking and arranging the furniture to this house structure are not fun, but most American families move every three or four years. Moving is painful, but a growing pain to most Americans.
George and Pat guide us to a furniture store. The store customarily discriminates against an "out-of-state" check. They want more than two credit cards with a Virginia driver's license. It seems to me that the store does not trust anybody. Maybe they don't trust themselves. They however force us to trust their goods. They ask me to pay all. But I talk to them, "I will pay half now and the other half when the furniture is delivered." They don't like my suggestion. Then it is totally unfair, isn't it?
The store takes a picture of my face for their record. My friends say that there are really many bad checks in this Washington area. Maybe I should not blame them.
My husband finally finds a car pool, but a two-man car pool. His car pool needs one more person to make four, which is a privileged number for the express lane. He complains today that the express lane is not a wise road system from a utilitarian perspective. The express lane is widely open most often, and the regular lanes are bumper-to-bumper.
"Most cars in the regular lane are occupied by one person. Then, why doesn't the highway authority change the rule to three or more passengers' car can use the express lane?" I listen to him. It makes sense to change the rule. For all commuters, seven regular lanes will provide more comfort, speed and save gasoline compared to the present system.
Our son, William Jay, is enrolled at a Fairfax kindergarten program. The kindergarten requires a physician's examination for the enrollment with the birth certificate and the immunization card. We are well prepared, but a Virginia physician's examination is asked for. The Fairfax school system does not accept the out-of-state physician's examination. The school rule is very strict, so that our son is delayed one more day to be enrolled. The United States is moving toward "state power" under the Reagan administration, and Virginia, home state for Jay, is another "nation" in the United States.
My friends talk to us: "You know Fairfax is picky. That is why the Fairfax school system is the finest in the nation." I just hope so.
Snow is something in April here. Snow covers the roof, lawn and trees like in the real winter.
Nothing stirs memories more than snow. Most of all, snow in Washington recalls the 1961 presidential inauguration. The Capitol dome and front, gleaming like old yellow ivory under the white trapping. Lyndon B. Johnson holding his Texas hat to shield the sun from grandfather Robert Frost's vision, power at the service of poetry, momentarily. The young president taking the oath coatless, foolhardy and heartlifting. Politics to John F. Kennedy was and is a poetic flight. Watergate, Southern gentleman and common sense have replaced one another. Camelot is gone.
The taxi drives past the Washington Monument. Today, the monument looks like an Eskimo's art work.
Our old friend who practices law guides us to Georgetown Market Place. He likes the place to eat. He tells us that he likes the substance rather than the style. A variety of food is served by many small merchants. The crowd rather than the food is interesting to me. Why do people come here? People come here to be a part of the crowd. The crowd is still lonely, as in the 1950s gray flannel suit.
Our friend says, "Georgetown is coming back!" The crowd seems to make an excitement. But the crowd is the same for the individuals as a hideout. We walk on the cobblestone and brick street to reach Georgetown Park Mall.
At the street corner, one religious singing group is surrounded by spectators. I don't know whether this religious group contributes to bringing the crowd back. It is chilly, but their costumes are for summer.