Yesterday was positively my weirdest night in DC yet. It all began with the plan to watch a Star Wars movie with my roommate, Salman. At around 9 pm, Salman called me to tell me that he was ready to pick me up from my work and watch Star Wars in a theater near Friendship Heights. Around 15 minutes later, I got another call from him letting me know that his car had got rear-ended near McDonald’s in Alexandria. He was okay, but the police wouldn’t arrive at the scene until an hour after I gave him a direct number to the Alexandria PD.
At about 10:30 pm, he continued driving to Dupont Circle to pick me up. I received a call from him about 45 minutes later saying that his exhaust system had dangerously dragged from his car, so he was forced to stop his vehicle in downtown DC (I think it was near intersection 14th and L Street). I came down via Metro and met him to wait for the AAA tow truck. We got ourselves Blimpie’s subs for dinner and beverages from a nearby CVS store. We saw several prostitutes walking by the area and a pimp (I don’t know if it’s a real pimp or just an act, but he certainly dressed the part!).
An hour passed, and no tow truck was in sight. AAA gave us a new ETA (estimated time of arrival) to be 2 am! So Salman got fed up and tried to fix the car himself. It was driveable, alright… for another three blocks. So we decided to wait for the truck after all and sit on the bench near a bus stop. Let me remind you that we were stuck in downtown DC, just the two of us, not knowing the area (even though it was relatively safe, but still), with limited access to a phone (batteries were about to be out) and transportation (Metro stops operating at 2 pm on the weekend). We would be waiting for more than 2 hours, surrounded by homeless people sleeping or walking nearby.
It was 2 am, and Salman kept calling AAA every 20 minutes since they kept delaying ETA up to 4 am! For about an hour between 3:30 – 4:30 am, we were walking around, trying to find a payphone since both our cellphones had died on us. We saw several more homeless people and several drunken passersby from closing bars. We were confused and undecided whether to wait for the truck or get help somehow. By this time, I started feeling delirious and the need to rest my eye (i.e., sleeping?). At about 4:45 am, it came down upon Salman to use his shoelaces to tie the exhaust system, at least preventing it from dragging on the road, making it possible to drive home safely, albeit slowly.
We arrived home about an hour later. Several calls had been waiting for Salman once he plugged his cellphone. And for me… well, I was too dazed to keep my eyes open for much longer and fell asleep on my bed for the next 10 hours or so.