Every Monday, people -- the devoted fans, and the ones who do not feel like heading to the bigger, more crowded show on the Mall-- come to watch James Bond movies.

I've never seen one of the movies, played on a satellite campus, laughably smaller than the National Mall, with tables, chairs, and umbrellas instead of slightly scratchy blankets and bumpy roots, a screen set up in hours rather than in days.

I've never watched them set it up.

But, today, I saw the cars. Like a small child's dream. Cars with the doors and trunks open. Piles of boxes in the trunk. Red and white stripes. Popcorn, in circus font. Piles of individual sized boxes. In the doors, thrown open like wings, there are more of them. Boxes leaning against the window, perched precariously and carefully on the inside door handles, peeking out of the side windows in the back.

I, in a moment of childhood, look for the elephants for the clowns.

Then, marvelling at the mass--two large, environmentally unfriendly cars filled with servings of popcorn, and just beyond them people leaning over tables to talk softly in the DC evening humidity, I slide to adulthood again and hurry to catch the metro.

* * *

The two children--a girl in capris and a baseball cap pulled with some force onto her head, wavy hair spilling out from beneath it, and a boy t-shirts, shorts, and a mohawk, 8 and 10 years old respectively--have been fighting all afternoon.

On the way to the FDR memorial, along the side of the Potomac, they fought over the right to push their brother in the stroller. Their younger sister, joyfully oblivious, plays with a stuffed poodle, as their father counts down from ten and the boy with the mohawk hands over the stroller to the girl with the hat. She takes it with glee sending the stroller in zig zags, testing her parents' reflexes by taking her hands off and letting it glide. She pulls the stroller back, raising the front wheels; she grins, her little brother cries.

As we walk past them, everyone erupts in yells. Everyone is angry. Everyone--the girl in the hat, the boy in mohawk, the girl with the poodle--are averting their eyes in a show of innocence. The girl with the baseball hat looks indignant, righteous, and fierce. She eyes her brother, eager for a fight. It's hot.

When we see them again, they've made it to the FDR memorial. The baby in the stroller is napping, the girl with the poodle dances at the edge of the water.
The two others jump from stone to stone, willfully ignoring--as I have-- the signs that ask visitors to respect the memorial to avoid wading. They stand each on their own platforms with flowing water between them, the waterfall behind them.

Purse their lips as they consider the jump, weigh the likelihood of falling in against the traction of their Crocs, which are coordinated to match their shirts.

The spray hitting their outreached palms, getting on their tongues in between the lips of their open smiles, the sound of water hitting water louder than their giggles.

1 Response to 'Metro Moments: Summer Pleasures Edition'

  1. http://writtenpyramids.blogspot.com/2008/08/metro-moments-summer-pleasures-edition.html?showComment=1218373020000#c4824578244936865021'> August 10, 2008 at 8:57 AM

    The parents just let the little girl recklessly shove an actually baby all over the place?


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Written Pyramids is a blog written by a journalist living and working in Washington D.C.

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