I’m back in my hometown of Gaithersburg, Maryland. It seems as though A & I have moved into my parents’ old Tulip Drive house. (Oddly enough, it’s even furnished exactly the same as I remember it.) We’re hanging out with Adam and Sue, having a fun old time as the evening starts to settle in and the street lamps pop on one at a time. My brother shows up around the same time that we all start to comment about how hungry we are. He could go for a bite to eat as well. No one really wants anything particularly fancy. We’ll just grab some pizza and while we’re out, we’ll grab a movie, too. Since my brother Joe is blocking us in, he’ll need to drive and A & Sue elect for “the boys” to grab the food and the flick. Seems a fair trade since we’ll get to pick out the movie. I remark that I know a good place just a couple blocks up 355 where we can grab the pizza from and it’s only like another two blocks to the video store from there.
So “the boys” leave and we pile into Joe’s vehicle. It’s a HUMMER H3 and Adam and I start making fun of him (since this is just the most preposterous thing a person can possibly drive). His defense is that it’s just for the tax write-off – – he’s got a landscaping company now and this is the company car. (Didn’t we see the logo magnetized to the side?) And with that, off we go… (Man does this thing put you up high over traffic or what?)
But things start to get a little weird pretty quick. We can’t find the pizza joint. Maybe it moved? It bugs me because I was sure that I remembered where this place was but nothing is really familiar. The signs are going by too fast for me to really get my bearings and before I know it, I’m urging Joe to turn around. I’m not sure of exactly where we are but I know we’ve gone too far down 355. He pulls a U-turn and we get turned around. Maybe heading back the other way things will be more familiar? Maybe if we spot the video store we’ll get a good sense of where we really are?
But we don’t find a familiar video store. Nor do we find the pizza joint. We found a video store though and decided to call that “good enough”. We ducked in and Adam and Joe started to look around for something. I got out my cell to call A and ask her where this pizza place is. Can she look it up in the phone book? The connection must have been bad because all she said was: “Just get something with artichokes and red peppers, OK!” I flipped the phone shut to find Adam and my brother just shaking their heads. This place doesn’t have anything good, it’s all weird, really obscure films.
Out the window I spot what I think is the pizza place. Maybe we are in the right place after all. We duck out and peak through the tinted floor-to-ceiling windows. Not really spying anything like an “OPEN” sign. But Adam apparently knows a trick to jimmy open this kind of door. So he does and we walk into what is clearly a cubicle farm business. No pizza to be had here. The alarm starts to wail after about two or three minutes in there and the next thing I know, the three of us are rapelling down the far side of the building which is suddenly a whole lot taller than it was when we jimmied the lock.
About Rob FrieselSoftware engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →
One Response to dream.20051111: hometown
Wow. I grew up in the same area as you. And apparently we are now somewhat neighbors in VT. I don’t know how long you had been away or how long you lived in G-burg, but it changes so quickly. Each time I go back, it seems like a different place.