I'm in Washington, D.C. for a few days and I feel like a rube. Even here, in gently suburban Tenleytown, a few miles north of downtown DC.
This morning I walked to the local Starbucks, figuring I may as well start making my peace with the bland coffee and crummy pastries that are soon to take over Malibu. And right away, I could feel it. My Big City chops, in working order when I lived out East, are gone.
I'm used to L.A. now, where we've got views and vistas, where you can reel out your gaze to check out that pink flowering tree or those wild green parrots, stare at that cool '60s car or that pair of gravity-defying fake boobs. L.A. may be vast but, at its core it's a village, metastized.
Here in D.C. it's different. It's faster. More people on the streets. You walk along, eyes open, but you don't really look. There's a safe zone for your gaze and breaking that barrier is bad form. I used to know that in New York and Boston and Paris, even, recently, in Santa Fe.
So it makes no difference that I live in a town of $250 t-shirts and $500 jeans, or that the guy grunting and sweating next to me at the gym is Kevin Bacon, or that I�ve pretended not to notice that�s Brad Pitt sneaking a smoke (pre-Angelina, when the poor guy could still go out in public) at Diedrich�s, or that last week, the paparazzi preying on Britney Spears (who was paying hundreds of dollars for a tank top for her dog) shoved me aside for a better shot. It turns out I�m a country girl.