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Bob was never the kind of guy to drag his feet. Once he had a clear vision of what he wanted to do, he was full speed ahead. What he wanted to do was to move back east, to Washington, wanted to go right into the belly of the beast, the source of all political logjams. There, he could tap into the work of the NRDC http://www.nrdc.org/ and other environmental groups he’d been heavily supporting all along.
In the Bay area, people had him stereotyped as a west coast dotcom guy, and being who he was, that was enough to spur him in a completely different direction. He was ready to take on D.C., the politicians, the suits. I really believe he was ready to take on the whole damned country.
I caught his enthusiasm, his fire, his sense of anything and everything being possible. It was a double whammy, being that much in love, and with someone who not only shared my save-the-world tendencies, but whose energies and ideas left me scrambling just to keep up.
And yes, I can tell you, there is a certain impetus that lots of money can provide. I contacted my old colleagues, who must have thought I’d dropped off the face of the Earth, and snagged a job back at NOW headquarters. They were very enthusiastic, as a matter of fact. I knew I’d been an asset before, knew I’d been good at my job. But I don’t think it hurt my job options that I’d just married a dotcom multi-millionaire, a guy the Washington Post welcomed to town with a feature story on the front page of the Business Section.
It was all perfect. We agreed on pretty much everything, including taking a more modest condo in the heart of the city, even though we could have afforded anything. We fell in love with a great place, in an old art deco building just off Connecticut Avenue, a nice long ramble from Georgetown through Rock Creek Park.
It’s Van Morrison I’ll always remember, welded to my memory of one of our first evenings in D.C., how we’d been listening to him while we unpacked, how that song was still echoing in my head when we decided to take a break to go out for some supper.
We walked out along Connecticut Avenue, headed northwest, crossing the long bridge that spanned Rock Creek, on an unhurried amble toward a Thai restaurant we’d spotted earlier. I loved walking with Bob, loved his long-legged pace that made me stretch my own gait to keep in step.
We stopped, halfway across the long bridge, to watch the sunset; stood at the rail, oblivious to the waves of pedestrians on their way home on that perfect April evening. We stood there, arms around each other’s waist, Bob talking, as always, about the next thing, his next project. He had the uncanny ability to view his work fully laid out in his head, some innate road-mapping skill he had. Me, I was happy, more than happy, to snuggle up to him, the way my shoulder nestled right under his arm, his steady heartbeat in my ear as I pressed close against his chest.
I remember he was off into some rapturous vision about sanitation and gray water, and a cheaper, more efficient way to install home monitors. I’d already learned to respect what had initially sounded to me like ramblings, having realized that mind of his rarely stopped. I was breathing in the smell of him, the long shafts of the last sunlight, the roar of traffic, lost in my own vision of how incredibly lucky I was, and how much I loved him, how much I loved being loved. Looking forward to all the days like this our future held. And he must have read my mind, because he broke off his musing and grabbed me up, right there on Connecticut Avenue in the middle of the rush hour, and kissed me, as if we had the world all to ourselves.