Enjoying DC

What I’ve learned: Grover Norquist has a thing for sushi

You wait four months to hear an interesting conversation on the metro, and then, well, you know the cliché. 

Disclaimer: when I use the word “interesting”, it may not mean what you think it means. 

Today could have been just an average Monday night, and in many ways it was: average for my new and exciting life in which every moment feels like a West Wing episode. (Except, that is, for the moments when I’m reading up on Freud and Nietzsche to write an essay on post-modernism in 80s literature. And the moments when I’m lying in bed wishing I didn’t have to do that. And the general lethargy – no, laziness, let’s call it by its proper name – that seems to have overtaken me since semester started winding down. And the moments when I’m wondering how come in real life all the eligible guys on campaigns, and in DC, are either taken or gay or both. Anyway, aside from all that, it’s just like the West Wing. But I digress, and now you’re going to think I’m complaining about DC, and I’m not, I love it.)

Anyway. So, an average Monday night in what has become my new life. Hot chocolate at Peregrine: on my second visit to DC, I wistfully gazed in and told myself I would sit and write there one day. On my third visit, I did sit and write – the first few pages of Primary Season, in fact – as well as meet a guy who promised to marry me so I could have a green card. And now I go there as often as possible, desperate to overhear conversations about the Hill. Today, I was the one having that conversation. 

I walked to Capitol South Station via We, The Pizza – both their name and their food meet with my wholehearted approval.  No Hill talk overheard there, but I was happy enough to be walking down the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue that feels like a movie set afterwards that I didn’t much mind. 

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On the metro, things got interesting when three people got on and dissected a party they had been at. One of them was very dismissive of it, and once he got off, part of me wanted the other two to bitch about him, but I don’t think they did. So absorbed was I in pretending to tweet while actually listening (though I may have actually been tweeting, in fairness) that I completely missed my stop.

But if I hadn’t missed my stop, I wouldn’t have ended up reading Politico on the seat in front of the guy who said, prompted by the cartoon on page I was reading, “Grover Norquist is fun.” Who then proceeded to say that Grover Norquist, in fact, has some sort of thing for sushi: there is always sushi at his events. And this guy goes to a lot of these events, apparently, where he is the youngest by twenty years (no kidding), and represents David Frum. I.e. someone big enough that even I have heard of him. I took a good look at this guy, in case he’s famous one day too. 

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And then, on the Circulator, three guys were actually talking about the fiscal cliff. Actually having an actual conversation about it. And, did you know that the only thing the President is legally empowered to single-handedly do fiscally is decide to produce coins? So, apparently, he could just order for three trillion pennies to be made, and hey presto, problem solved. For the second time in about fifteen minutes I was tempted to stay on a mode of transport longer than I needed to, just to carry on listening. 

So today I have learned one thing: Monday nights are apparently when one should go eavesdropping on public transport in DC. 

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