~ I was sitting at coffee this morning working on a chapter in my latest book, and a late-50ish woman tapped me on the shoulder,
“Excuse me, Kenneth?” she asked
“Yup, its me” I responded.
We had met a couple weeks ago at the same coffee shop. She noticed me reading DeToqueville’s “Democracy in America” and we chatted for twenty minutes or so as she asked me a number of questions about the book. I recognized her to be a congresswoman from a distant State far from D.C., but for whatever reason I never mentioned that I knew who she was, perhaps I was being sly, perhaps I just didn’t care, or perhaps I was on my fourth cup of coffee that morning and I was too buzzed to think straight.
“How are you!” she asked pleasantly, “I really enjoyed our conversation last time” she said
“Well, since most of D.C. is obsessed with all this craziness, I’m sure its always nice for a congresswoman to talk with someone about classical political philosophy rather than your typical day-to-day drama” I said
“Ahhh, you knew who I was! You never said as much!” she said
“Just holding a wild card on you” I said with a wink
“I could tell from our last conversation you’re not one of us, are you?” she asked
“A Democrat? I asked?
“No, I mean you’re not one of us, meaning you don’t buy into this whole D.C. thing, do you?” she asked
“No, I worked in politics in a previous life, as a teenager, and that was enough for me” I said
“You think we are frauds” she asked
I paused, searching for the right response, “I never said that”
“No, but you think it, don’t you” she said
“I think each of the parties pander to their constituency and its more of a game than anything else” I said
She gave me a very genuine smile and put her hand on my shoulder, “You know, I always tell my interns on their first day that its all bullshit. I’m going to a party at Congressman —————–‘s house tonight, and he’s a Republican! We are best friends, yet on television I once called him a ‘cretin’ and ‘woman hater’ ” she laughed.
We chatted for another ten minutes or so and as she got ready to go she leaned over and grabbing my hand to shake it said, “I really like you Kenneth. Maybe we will hang out again, I love talking with non-political people, perhaps you could meet my husband”
I turned and leaned my mouth close to her ear and speaking each word with deliberate care said, “We will meet again, tonight, Congressman —————— invited me to the party at his house on ——————- street last week when he and I had coffee together, he texted me the address earlier this morning”
I knew I caught her off guard, which was my intention by naming the congressman’s street, the congressman loved to text, and I’m not much of a texter, so ever since I had met him a month prior, I always felt bad that it would take me a few days to respond to his texts.
She stood up straight, then sat back in the chair next to me and asked directly, “Who are you Kenneth?”
I couldn’t help but smile at that and of course answered her honestly, “I’m just a dude that enjoys a good cup of coffee all around the world, and right now I’m here in Maryland”.
She started to speak again, but then caught herself, “I’ll see you tonight Kenneth, I’ll see you tonight” she said.
I agree with the congresswoman, having worked in politics back in the 1990’s, and hanging around politicians in D.C. lately, I can say with a good deal of candor, it’s all bullshit.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,