I was newly arrived in D.C. to do an internship for a veteran congressman.
On the first day of session, there was a lot of pomp and circumstance and I was introduced around.
One congressman in particular was interested in me, said he had read my college papers and wanted me to work for him.
While at a caucus meeting where an openly gay congressman was removed from a gay committee because of his loyalty to another group, I met another young intern and we fell in love at first sight.
As congress was called into session, I stood alongside some of the old stalwarts during the Pledge of Allegiance. One of these relics of Congress approached me and asked if I wanted to have coffee and a chat after the ceremony.
Afterwards, we met in the cafeteria but it was too crowded and noisy so the Congressman suggested we take our coffee and have a seat in the Congressional tailor’s shop where we would be alone and have the chance to talk quietly.
During our meeting, the Congressman got up and pulled a grey suit from a rack and asked me if I had any idea what the suit cost.
He showed me the price tag inside the jacket which said $1,100.
Afterwards, I met up with the young intern and we went for coffee.
At the café, which was a converted railroad car, she confessed that she was a tortoise and would understand if I wanted to back out of our relationship before it got too serious.
I asked her how tall she was when she stood upright and she said just over three feet.
Then I asked her if she wouldn’t be offended if I asked her a more personal question: if she had was able to stand upright equally well on her back and front legs, to which she answered "no."
We went for a walk and I was deliberately bumped into by a young blonde-haired man who was with a small group of friends from the other side of the tracks who then started following us calling out threatening chants.
After following us over a bridge into town, I grabbed one of the young boys who had been following us and threw him to the ground to set an example of what I’d do to the others if they didn’t leave us alone.
My date was worried that they’d go home and bring their “red neck” fathers back to threaten me as they despised the young educated men who came to D.C.
On the way back over the bridge, we ran into hundreds of townspeople dressed in costumes on their way to the big celebration.
We stopped for a moment to use the public restrooms and as I finished first, I walked back down the bridge to see if any of the troublemakers might have been coming for us.
When I got back to the restrooms, she was there sitting on a bench waiting for me.
Then I woke up.