If You Like Piña Coladas . . .

If You Like Piña Coladas . . .

Sweat started to pour down my face as I looked out across the Potomac. The sun peeked out from behind the clouds to beam down on my face, searing my skin with every second. I was almost praying for some kind of breeze to help cool me down.

One thing about D.C. in mid-July: it gets hot.

I was riding a Capital Bikeshare bicycle down a trail next to the Potomac River, away from Georgetown. I didn’t feel like stopping in the neighborhood - the heat was getting to me.


I looked down at the water as it playfully bounced up and down in small, gentle waves.


“If only I could just jump in right now,” I thought to myself. “That would give me something to cool off with.”

I trekked the countless miles to the Lincoln Memorial (at least it felt like they were countless). My water bottle was empty. I stopped to refill it at a water pump.

It was out of water. Maybe it was the dire heat and possible dehydration, but for a split second, I thought, “I should have gotten the water from the Potomac.”

These were dire consequences, that came from dire times.


I made my way down to the front of the Lincoln Memorial. There was a performance of Maori dancers on the steps, performing the Haka ritual war dance for onlookers.

“How do they have so much energy in this heat?” I thought. One of the dancers, in a small break between acts, grabbed his gallon of water and started chugging.

“Oh, right.”

Some clouds appeared over the Memorial, giving the crowd some much-needed shade. A slight breeze came shortly afterward, as the sun rays slowly disappeared behind the ever-growing black clouds.

I looked behind me at the Reflecting Pool. “I won’t drink any of that water,” I thought. “They really need to clean it.”


I started heading back to Capitol Hill, before the performance was over. Maybe I could find a water pump elsewhere on the Mall. But I was fresh out of luck, as I found myself all the way at the Washington Monument, sans-filled water bottle.

A little girl, holding her mother’s hand and her thermos in the other (lucky), turned around. “Mommy, where did the Lincoln Memorial go?”

I turned around, and lo-and-behold, the Lincoln Memorial was gone. At the end of the Reflecting Pool was a grey fog that curtained the building, along with everyone at its steps. At the top of the veil was a dark black cloud, coming directly towards us.

“Oh honey, it’s just covered up by some fog.”

“I don’t think that’s fog,” said her father. And then he said what we were all thinking. “Oh s**t.”

Courtesy of Pinterest


I started pedalling like crazy, heading for the Capitol building. There was a Bikeshare station near there, right where the Metro stop is. If I hurried, I thought, maybe I could get there before it starts to . . .

Too late.

With a cruel twist of irony, Mother Nature showered me with the much-needed water that I was wishing for. Children started to scream and cry as their parents picked them up like footballs and started dodging people left and right. Umbrellas flew out of people’s hands as the wind gushed right through us. Cars crashed into each other across from us on 14th Street as the torrential downpour hit them like a ton of bricks.

The last part didn’t happen. But could you imagine if it did?

With several minutes of panting, and a slew of curses, I made my way to the Smithsonian Metro station after dropping the bike off at the nearest Bikeshare station.

I tried not to get anybody wet as I eased my way into the surprisingly-cramped Metro car. Why would it be this crowded on a Sunday? I sat down next to a nice elderly lady.

“Is it raining outside?” she asked me.

I’ll check the forecast next time I go out.


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