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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1057821-Strong-Like-Quartz
Rated: 18+ · Book · Music · #2231553
Fictitious and delicious!
#1057821 added October 21, 2023 at 11:10pm
Restrictions: None
Strong Like Quartz?
Thank Christ for an autumnal cooldown, Dana thought. I can get away with a hoodie when wandering around town.

Even on a weekday afternoon, Dana found a significant crowd of visitors to the mineral and gemstone collection at the Museum of Natural History. Though she had arrived as soon as the museum opened, she'd spent most of her visit weaving around crowds of semi-local school children and trying to avoid any cameras appearing to be facing her. She'd managed to have a reasonably quiet time to soak in the exhibits in the African Voices hall. Between the few people and dim lighting, she even felt comfortable enough to drop the hood for a bit. She had seen everything there, though, and she decided to try her luck on the second floor. At least the beginning portion of the minerals and gemstones hall had been devoid of people. Lucky for her that fewer people are interested in plate tectonics than the Hope Diamond.

Of course, being in Washington D.C. in the middle of October was not something she had planned to do. In fact, she was only in town to visit with both of her state Senators and her district's Congressional representative. She had turned down countless media requests but felt like meeting with members of Congress had a bit more merit. Over the last couple days, she had sat down for lunches with them and members of their staff; attended subcommittee hearings; and even been allowed in House chambers for a floor vote. In the midst of all that activity, Dana found opportunities to let her representatives know her thoughts on everything from increased funds for rare disease research and expanding disability conditions to include more forms of trauma to how to start weaning states off the winner take all system that in her mind makes the electoral college untenable.

Today's museum visit stemmed from having some time off from Congressional activities. She had some events on that front scheduled for tomorrow, but the rest of her week would be spent on a mini-vacation. There were dinner plans with a few friends she had in the metro, but the rest of the time was open for Dana to do whatever she wanted. In spite of the temptation to hibernate in her hotel room, she decided to take her chances and wander around. With even Paralympic Games news starting to fall out of the news cycle, she hoped she'd catch a break in DC. So far she was having some luck on this front. However, she knew that moving further into the mineral exhibit would put her sense of peace to the test.

Dana found herself thrust into the more tangible section of the exhibit: the first display cases of minerals. She spotted a few people in the section devoted to metallics, including a trio of teen boys doing their best/worst impressions of Beavis and Butt-Head over some rather phallic looking pyrite. She pursed her lips to restrain a chuckle threatening to erupt and kept moving. She took a moment to stop by and revisit some elbaite that reminded her of watermelon with its pink center and green rim. As she contemplated the elbaite cross-section, she heard the same group moving closer. She glanced at the display case glass to see if she could spot their reflection and track which direction they were going. To her dismay, the glass was of no use on this front. She sighed and stared straight ahead, allowing her hair to fall almost to the front of her face.

Once the boys sounded like they'd moved on, Dana scanned the room for other people. Aside from a couple scoping out some square cut piece of fluorite, the room was empty. Dana took the opportunity to put her hood back up and resume browsing the mineral samples. Soon, she found herself at the display case titled "Color: Mineral Rainbow". Unlike a typical rainbow, though, this one had the purple hued minerals displayed to the left. Thus, Dana found herself first examining amethyst in both crystalline and oval cut forms. While she recognized it wasn't considered a precious stone for lots of reasons, she found this particular stone to be rather underrated. To her, the amethyst came close to being a neutral purple, walking the warm/cool line like a seasoned tightrope artist. Likewise, in this display case, the amethyst also stood out for its luminosity, an eye-catching contrast to the matte presentation of most of the other minerals in this particular case. After taking some time to scope out the sample from the rest of the visible light spectrum, she turned to head for the precious gems.

"Nice sweatshirt."

Dana cocked her head and peered down at her hoodie. She'd gotten this one as a Christmas gift less than a year but hadn't worn it too often. She didn't want to wear out the image of snowmen wielding crash cymbals too soon. Still, it was comfortable and not one she'd worn much in public prior to this trip. Looking around, she found a guy with brown hair and black wireframe glasses nodding at her.

"Oh, thanks," she mumbled before wandering away.

As she wandered away, she heard someone ask, "Is that Dana Villavasso?"

To her dismay, the guy she'd seen earlier responded with, "Might have been. I didn't look that closely."

"Yeah, you were just staring at her chest."

Sighing through her nose, Dana strode past the cases of jeweler cut diamonds and sapphires in the hopes of making a rapid exit from the minerals and gemstones. As she wandered, she tried to figure out where she could take refuge without hoping to leave. Maybe she'd get lucky and doge the crowds at the Objects of Wonder Hall. Shoving her hands into the hoodie's kangaroo pocket, she picked up the pace and began the trek across the top floor.

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