I know I’m not “in touch.” I’ve heard that accusation many times by the “activist” cool kids in the student center cafeteria, that’s one reason why I avoid eating there. That and the food is awful.
I admit I’m more into Alpha than what goes on outside Dulles’s halls. But stepping outside the green zone was a slap in the face.
First the smell. I don’t know how they prevent the smell from getting into the green zone, but they do. My stomach writhed and flipped in reaction to the smell. It wasn’t just the garbage it was as if the streets were sweating.
Second is the fact that the town was falling apart. When I first started going to Dulles as a student, downtown was full of, shall we say, cheap housing. But now it’s all gone to seed.
I wonder if the Roman Senate, as they heard news of lost territories, increased crime, and a diminishing treasury, ever put two and two together and realized that Rome was waning? Did they try to stop its slow death? Or did they close their eyes of it all and continued to bask in the glory that was Rome, all the while rubber stamping all of Julius Nepos’s decrees.
Heading out in the middle of the night seemed like to me the best way not to get noticed but the campus guard wanted to “escort” me for my own safety. It only took him 50 bucks to realize I’d be okay walking into town on my own. No bus or cabs, so there was a lot of walking. I discovered my campus ID was also my “pass” back into the green zone.
Alice had me meet her contact underneath the huge Prescott banner at the corner of Barbara Ave. and Houston St. I had assumed it was a left over “re-elect Prescott” poster from last year’s election. I was wrong. It was a banner, huge, 4 stories tall. It didn’t even have his name, just his picture and the words “Our Leader” at the bottom. They were all over town, covering the broken windows of all the abandoned buildings.
A few thousand dollars later I was heading back to the green zone. Another 50 and my bags weren’t searched, and exhausted I went to my room and collapsed on my bed. I closed my eyes and didn’t sleep. I waited 10 minutes, showered, changed, and headed back to check on Alpha.
Alpha doesn’t sleep, and neither do I.