DC Friends

“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?”
—Stephanie Perkinshandshake

I play with a community orchestra here in the “Greater Washington, DC” area, and at our last concert I struck up a pre-show conversation with one of the other musicians, a young woman of around 30.

She had been living in DC since her early twenties and during that time had played with the orchestra. She is a skilled hand on a stringed instrument called a domra.

A little over two years ago, she relocated to Portland, Maine but continues to return three times a year to play with the orchestra.

As we talked, I asked about her life in Maine and specifically why she decided to leave DC.

“All the years in DC,” she explained, “I never felt that I made any real friends… Oh, I had a good job and a good social life, but everyone seemed so transient.

She continued: “Even now I talk about my ‘friends’ as the people I care about and stay in touch with—as opposed to my ‘DC friends,’ who are people that I once knew in a fun way but never built any lasting bonds with.”

This admission surprised me. She is bright, accomplished, pretty, sincere, and has a great sense of humor. I just assumed she would be the belle of any ball, anywhere.

It got me thinking about my own links with the nation’s capital.

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