In the belly of the beast


Surely Jonah felt some comfort inside the whale. There was air to breathe, after all, and salty plankton broth, and some measure of warmth, and no sharks. 

Ultimately, of course, i suppose he was relieved to get out of there, but I bet he took some guilty pleasure curling up in a blubber bed or leaning up against a giant rib curved just right to support his aching back. 

I am having these thoughts because I violated something I guess is a core belief. I walked into the beast’s mouth on my own. Then I actively, consciously contributed to the good fortunes of our national car wreck in chief by having a drink in the bar of his hotel near the White House. It was a good drink, in fact, but obscenely overpriced. And it is a beautiful lobby, staffed full of people of many colors, from many lands, whose eyes I mostly had a hard time meeting. 

Will this experience change and purify me like Jonah’s did him? Only time will tell. 

Deerly beloved


I visited the NIH campus in Bethesda today. Walking from the Clinical Center back to the Metro station, I stopped for a second to admire how nice and woodsy it all is. And then, as if on cue, a whole herd of deer arrived. Very impressive, Mr. Federal Planning Division, very impressive indeed.

In the eye of the storm

They say it’s eerily calm inside the eye. Even while winds and rain are tearing things apart a few miles away, you get this patch of calm, even sunshine, and some barometric sense of stillness and quiet. And of course foreboding, because you know that calm spot is going somewhere else, and you can’t run fast enough to stay inside. 


So it seems to me this week in our nation’s capital. Of course I see what I want/expect to see, and I wouldn’t presume to elevate my anecdotes even to the level of alternative facts. But still… that’s a picture inside the DuPont Circle Starbucks at 7:30 AM on a workday. In my 15 or so years of coming here, I never remember it being empty like this. As they say wherever they say things like this: Sumpin’ ain’t right. 

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