It's funny how little things seem to change. I arrived in DC late last night. For whatever reason, my father turns airport pick-ups into some sort of Ocean's 11-type mission. He picks up at DEPARTURES, not Arrivals and sends one of the little brothers in to wait by the escalator between baggage claim and Departures. Last night, we had a three-person team on the mission. I have no idea why - many of his more recent peculiarities, I blame on retirement.
This week, every time I've told people that I'm going home to DC, I've indicated apprehension about the heat, humidity, recent flooding, and weather in general. However, I found myself rushing outside. Humidity at night retreats to something lush.
I opened the car door and was enveloped in the scent of jasmine - not the cheesy air freshner kind. My mother (staying up way past her bedtime) had come along and brought me a jasmine mala . In the car, my parents studiously only asked me questions about the flight. (I have complained, quite bitterly, about the Spanish Inquisition on the car ride home.) My mother started the smothering (notice how the word 'mother' is right in there?) on the topic of climate control. The smothering is like a physical entity - ivy growing, entwining itself around the victim. The worst part is that I find myself doing it too. There are times when my mother pries open my jaws and has her say: "You'll be cold without a sweater" (said to Neel Mehta at our Maverick dinner - more to come on this.)
We piled out of the car and I took my things up to the bedroom of my childhood (recently abandoned by LB2.) I slept in the twin bed I occupied from age 7 to 17 (canopy removed to "butch it up" for my little brother.)
And now, I'm watching the World Cup with my parents, just like I did in 2002, 1998, 1994, etc.