Our taxi driver arrives in front of The Hotel Palomar at fifteen to seven. I sit inside drinking coffee with soy milk and eating the everything bagel I stole from work the day before. Free breakfast. Heather’s afraid the cabs are going to be poached by other hotel patrons so we begin to load early, throwing our bags into a 1989 Cadillac station wagon. The cabbie later tells us it is reliable and easy to fix; his third one in his cabbie lifetime. The dense foliage blurring past us, wood sided suburban houses slipping through. In and out, in and out. Jam funk music circa some disco era plays on the stereo. The blue synthetic felt fabric that was once tightly adhered to the ceiling droops overhead. Meg moves it away with her hand a few times. Karen and I share a blue leather bench seat and listen to the cabbie talk about gas prices cutting into revenues. Although he never uses the term “cutting into revenues.” He says something closer to “shredding into my money.”
Dulles Airport is a mid-century take on “an airport of the future.” The main terminal rises out from the surrounding flatness. Inside the ceiling swoops overhead, allowing you to imagine what it would be like to be under the belly of a UFO. We ride from the main terminal to Terminal D in a military-esque transporter as wide as a boat and one story high, riding on wheels the size of a semi-truck or some discarded military vehicle. I’m not usually a sucker for chatzky garbage, but when we pass the general store with 2008 election paraphernalia I can’t help but want to buy the GOP Cookies and Democrat Snacks. I buy Danika a visually uninspiring “Barack Obama for President” pin, a Republican and a Democrat “Got President?” mug both decorated with a red, white, and blue version of their party mascot. I now feel vastly more connected to the democratic process of my country.


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