i'm sitting at the starbucks at penn and 20th, watching the sun sink into the sky over virginia and trying to determine whether i should go to class, or keep working on my evidence outline (the latter being the much more productive option). raggedy ann has just appeared, waiting for her andy as she smokes a cigarette and exposes the tattoo on her left arm. she pulled up on a well-worn bike, equiped with a tarot card snug between the spokes. she must be a courier on all days except october 31st, i deduct as she pulls the packages out of her bag. a man appears (not andy!) and gives her a lollipop. she takes it, juggling it and the thin envelopes that threaten to blow away, all the while with the cigarette dangling from her smiling lips. if only i had a fraction of this girl's coordination. and some stripey red and white tights.
this starbucks, four blocks from 1600 penn, is motorcade central. it seems that every time i'm here, a caravan of dark, speeding, unmarked, loud cars hurl past in precise formation. between the slutty raggedy ann courier and the motorcade, the retired tourist couple enjoying the balmy night on the sidewalk can hardly contain themselves. she clutches his hand as the sirens blare, both of their necks craning for a clear view into the darkly tinted windows.
the law students have started pouring into the starbucks, on cue 20 minutes before night classes begin. evidence, it turns out, waits for no trick or treaters.