Pedestrian encounter

Went out for coffee this afternoon and lingered around 17th & L smoking a cigarette. Strolling down the sidewalk is Donald Rumsfeld, talking to a man in a brown suit carrying a briefcase, followed by two steps by a much taller, bulkier guy who is obviously security. Probably leaving the Mayflower, adjacent to my office.

Rumsfeld looks shorter than I expect, squinting the way he does and gesticulating as he talked to his companion. I search my mind for something to say. I was tempted to say, "Donald Rumsfeld!" but he probably knows who he is. I couldn't say nice to meet you, because that isn't true.

It isn't every day that you get to see a war criminal walking down the street. As he crossed 17th I thought of Marathon Man, when Christian Szell is recognized in New York's diamond district. "Szell...Szell...," says an old woman on 47th Street. "Murderer! Murderer!"

It's sort of like a golf clap. It only works if others join in.


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