It soon dawned on me that I had made up an entire reality that did not exist. I had taken a few clues he had given me and drawn another person, the one I wanted him to be. Instead, his kayak hung on the back of our house, a thin skin of moss growing over its bright yellow surface. He watched football while I packed a backpack. If he traveled, he wanted indoor plumbing. Because I had wanted it so badly, I had forced my idea of him into a mold he did not fit, and had no interest in doing so. Possibly he had his own out of focus picture of me.
It was a painful lesson, once I realized the dream did not mesh with the reality. In some cases, you can take the new reality and try it on, and it fits. Maybe not as well as you would like, but it will work. Not in this case, not ever.
In the case of DC, I have realized that for the last two weeks I have been searching for the same type of experience I can get at home. I long for rivers, I pine for woods. But that is not what this city is about. So instead I have decided to embrace the difference. Eat naan. Go to museums.
I did, however, find a few small slices of urban wilderness.
One is Rock Creek Park. I admit, I was a little frightened by this sign: