A light breeze complimented the warm sunlight. There was not a drop of humidity in the air. I could’ve walked home from the Mall, but felt lazy. I stepped to the curb, raised my arm, and hailed a taxi.
I settled into the leather backseat, placing the bulging Barnes and Noble plastic bag and ever-present oversized black carryall on the floor. As I rummaged around for my wallet, I gave the driver my address and off we went.
NPR wafted from the radio. The interior was frosty, the air-conditioning blowing on high. We drove passed the Washington Monument and I noticed the even green carpet growing where dirt and bulldozers had resided less than two weeks before.
“They finally cleared out the mess,” I said.
Deep brown eyes peered at me from the rearview mirror. I pointed to the grounds surrounding the monument, crawling with kids kicking a soccer ball and groups of tourists, and repeated my comment.
“What were they working on?” he asked.
“I think they were building an underground visitors center. Though I don’t see the difference the tunnel will make if someone with a bomb is intent on blowing up the monument.”
The driver nodded.
“There is much construction near the memorials. They waste too much money and the schools have no books for the children,” he said.
It was my turn to nod.
I was in no hurry to rush home. We took the scenic route to my building and continued to exchange thoughts on the G8 conference, pledges of aid to Africa and the state of life in the District. It was one of the most interesting conversations I’ve shared in a while.
Just goes to show… you never know what might happen on your way home.