Twenty Six. Divided by a Common Language


Washington DC was the murder capital of the US. The deaths peaked in 1991 when almost 500 died that year out of a population of 606,901. Lafayette Park, next to the White House, was unsafe at night. Needle Park, a few blocks north was also not recommended. East of 14th, forget it. And South East? Well there, the Uzi was the weapon of choice.

So when I had to hot foot it to DC from North Carolina, I was terrified of making the wrong turn. I had been posted on contract to a firm in Virginia, and I needed to get to the Nation’s Capital for a Monday start. I rented a maroon-coloured Oldsmobile, gears on the dashboard, front seats like a settee, red faut leather cracked and split in places to reveal the lining, and on the passenger side I unfolded a Rand McNally map of the East Coast.

A six hour journey for a person who had driven no more than a few hours in his life before arriving in the States. What could go wrong?

Vo’ob Xcha’-vinik. Alice Part 3 ยี่สิบเจ็ด. A Blossom in the House
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