0Aboard Southwest Airlines flight #2413 to Washington, DC, I remember I committed to myself, and my readers, and that guy Max that I’d blog everyday for a year (except when I’m away at Ceremony) and I resent myself, and my readers, and that guy Max for making me say I’d do it because what I’d really love to do is order a Jack and Coke and kick back and snore the rest of this two-hour flight. But there’s much to be done in a short amount of time in Washington and I plan to hit the ground running today. Tomorrow will be spent chasing around Republican members of Congress trying to see if I might have some information that might prove useful to them or if perhaps even one of them can explain to me (other than shitty political alliances) why they would go against the word of decorated members of our military and career servants to our intelligence communities to side with a draft dodging megalomaniac who, after send a poor person to die in his place in Vietnam and fires from the hip when it comes to military issues and foreign policy. His supporters got exactly what they wanted when they said they wanted a businessman in the White House and unfortunately he runs the Executive Branch just like he ran his shitty businesses. Somebody’s got to stop him. That’s why I’m going to DC.

There’s a young couple with a fourteen month-old son flying in the three seats across from me. The young parents got nervous when the child started to get squirmy and loud. I struck up a friendly conversation with the parents and the kid (like most kids) found me interesting enough to stop his fussing and consider this gray-bearded stranger is who’s talking to his parents. The sippy cup hits the floor and I retrieve it. When I hand it off to the dad, the back of my  fingers brush across his meaty palm and it feels like the finest grade sandpaper, infinitely sexier than soft, tender hands.  The rubber wedding ring is there reaffirming yes, these hands work for a living, move on. I hope he makes lots of money; hands lie that deserve lots of money. Her died blonde hair has dark roots and her pretty, rose-colored, wash-and-wear sweater and distressed jeans match his look—Timberland low-top, leather shoes, Lucky jeans stretched over his thighs which still show he was a good running back in high school, YETI hat, tan line from his Costa sunglasses. His hairline can’t be more than two inches from his eyebrows; he’s one of those annoying pretty men who wouldn’t be hot at all if they weren’t straight. His dark brown eyes flash at me when I hand him the cup and I know what the look means. Of the child, he’s proud of what he’s done and he wants this older man to know it.  I’m not talking about his being proud that he and he’s wife made this child (the wife doing the lion’s share), I’m talking about that look a younger man will give me that says in all his caveman, chest-thumpiest way, “I made this with my dick.”
That will make a few women throw up in their mouth a bit. I think it’s hot.

I pray for them, for this family, as I am wont to do. Some people say that’s not okay, that you shouldn’t pray for people without asking them but I do. I do it all the time, especially when I’m in public. In the planes, trains, and automobiles that have become the setting for my life, I’ll sneak in a little prayer for someone I see– someone like the 20-something white boy who had on the too-short polyester pants, who napped on his way home to Brooklyn on the Subway in New York last week, after he’d spent the day trying to find a toe-hold on this  ”ladder” he’s heard so much about. Like the black lady with purple hair that takes my $5 to park when I go work at the Convention Center and like this couple on the plane today with me, traveling to the Washington.

I secretly pray for them as I pray for all the others. It usually goes something like this: “I pray that this couple dies happy and old, surrounded by children and grandchildren who love them. I pray that their marriage gets to remain one of the great love stories of all time and that they remain faithful and loving toward each other throughout. I pray the child knows a safe and healthy life and that I can have something to do with that. I pray that their lessons come gently. Amen.” It may sound silly but what can it hurt really, to send loving and positive thoughts towards others when they’re not looking and will never know?
The man seated next to me strikes up a conversation when my hands take a break from the keyboard. He wants to know what’s bringing me to DC. Turns out he’s a career soldier. He’s on the way to DC for some kind of conference around Homeland Security.  He’s cagey about what he’s come to DC to do and I’m cagey about what I’ve come to DC to do but eventually we land on the same square he admits to me that he’s been in the United States Army for twenty years and he would have stayed longer except that he’s not too signed on with the way thing are going in our country just now and I eventually “come out” to him with the fact that I’m here to bird-dog Republican Congress members to get them to sign on to impeachment. “Hey man I tell my family that shit but I can’t say too much ‘cause I’m still active duty and all that (most service members are confused about the UCMJ on this issue) but I tell my family and all and I’m getting out in less than a year.” And he goes on to tell me how he believes as I do and he thanks me for speaking on his behalf as a member of the nation’s military and I thank him for risking his life so that I can continue to exercise my 1st Amendment rights and to stay true to the oath I made when I joined the Marine Corps.

 

I’m in my hotel now. It’s hours later. My roommate whom I just met is falling asleep in the bed beside me and we have lots to do tomorrow. I’d never met this Marine before tonight but as in so very many cases before, when I met a Marine for the first time, I realize how much we have in common.

Tomorrow, this Marine and I will do something important and scary. Tonight we prepare for it together.

Goodnight, y’all. Pray for us.

 


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