Washington, D.C.—Something quite unexpected happened just hours ago, in the dark of night, during a two-day layover in Washington, DC. My son and I are scheduled to take part in a seminar outside of Raleigh, North Carolina this weekend, so we combined our travels to include a side-trip to DC for a business meeting we had previously arranged. It was during this layover that something seemingly ripped from the pages of a spy novel took place.
While I was in the middle of a perfectly good and well needed sleep in the very early hours of this morning, I received a message. I cannot disclose how I received this message, at least not now. The discerning reader will understand why, which, by the way, would make a very interesting story alone. The message was extremely clear and precise. I was to meet my high level DHS insider at a very specific location in Washington, DC, at a time when most ‘normal’ people, except third-shift workers are still asleep. And, I was to come alone and make certain that I was not being followed, and I was to leave any cell phone or electronic device behind.
Seriously? I thought, as I was still trying to make sense of it all. Is all this really necessary? Is this really happening? I considered waking my son to accompany me, but opted to follow the instructions to the letter. Besides, I thought, he’s not the most affable middle-of-the-night person. I left a hastily written but detailed note in my hotel room before my departure in the event something happened. I looked at the digital clock on my rental car (my personal car would never survive our long distance trip). It was 3:20 a.m.
I felt like I was part of a spy movie set in our nation’s capital. A chill rose up my spine as I waited in the dark of a chilly, misty and foggy pre-dawn morning. I was to meet with my DHS insider source at a time when most of the nation is asleep, at a place I could swear was featured in the movie All the President’s Men. No one and I mean no one knows I’m here, I thought, as I could see one of the most recognizable national landmarks in the distance.
My source appeared out of nowhere, or so it seemed, and handed me a cup of coffee with the astute observation that I looked like I needed it. So tell me, I asked impatiently, why do we have to meet at this time, at this location, and under such specific circumstances? ‘Because this might be our last meeting,’ he stated.
Maybe it was the lack of sleep, the time, the place, or the chill of the misty rain that caused my sense of foreboding. “Explain,” I asked in an almost demanding tone. So he did, without mincing words.
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