Store the Hugs


When I left New Orleans this morning the Lyft driver who drove me to the airport asked me where I was off to. I told her, “I’m going to DC to impeach this president.” That lead to a long thoughtful conversation between her, a 23 year-old woman of color supplementing the income from her other job, and me, a 54 year-old war vet writer and activist. When we got to Louis Armstrong Airport, she got out and gave me a hug. I took that hug into my heart. When I get scared tomorrow (I’ll get scared tomorrow) I’ll remember her and remind myself that she’s why I’m here.

I arrived blurry-eyed in DC a few hours ago after a layover in Miami, not exactly a straight shot from New Orleans to DC but I’m finally here. I love DC. I love my fellow activists. To be honest, I hate political activism but honestly, “if not me than who” was the question that walked me into that recruiting station all those years ago and it’s what has me in Washington this week. This writing is shitty. Sorry. I’m exhausted and we have an early organizing meeting before heading to Capitol Hill. I’ll wrap it up fast. I want to look pretty in case I run into Lyndsey Graham again. I honestly think he would run if he saw me. Which is quite silly. I mean him no harm. I actually have his best interests at heart.
Tonight, I dined with some of my heroes. As I looked around that table I actually teared up a bit thinking about how much I love and appreciate them. This is not easy work and there are people who hate us enough for what we’re doing they’d kill us if they could get away with. Trump supporters are crazy. I guaranteed every one these veterans would rather be doing something else. But military folk are used to wishing they were somewhere else doing something more fun while being somewhere we don’t necessarily want to be doing something because it needs to be done.
As fortune would have it, Arizona Senator Martha McSally was dining at our hotel. She’s a Republican and an Air Force combat vets. Two of the Air Force vets bird-dogged her to the door. This a second time for our group and Sen. McSally. The other time she pretended to be on the phone which is silly because you could clearly see the icons on her phone and that she wasn’t on a call. She’s young too. She could run for President some day. If she does, I’ll be there to ask her the same question I would ask any young Republicans with eyes on higher offices: “So given that you did not support the impeachment of Donald Trump, can we assume you’ll be operating with the same code of ethics as he has since taking office?” They absolutely hate that question.

The Lyft driver who drove me from Washington National Airport to my hotel asked me what brought me to DC. I told him, “I’m here to impeach the President.” That lead to a meaningful conversation about politics and the personal economics of working stiffs in America. Can you imagine the conversations a Lyft driver in DC hears?! He is young and (you can tell) trying to remain optimistic in frightening times. When we got to the hotel, he got out and hugged me. Again, I took that hug into my heart. When I get scared on Capitol Hill tomorrow (and I will get scared) well, you know the rest.

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