DC has gone ever-so-quietly mad.

At the corner of 17th and Willard an elegant young black woman in designer clothes and shocking red lipstick sat sucking her thumb, index finger along the side of her nose, the others curled into a fist. Two blocks down an old white lady in a long tan coat walked into the street without looking, arms outstretched like a traffic cop Moses, and nodded at me sternly. As I waited for my bus, a woman and a man chatted amicably as blood dripped steadily from her right ear.

This is not the beginning of a story.

This is DC on a Tuesday in November.

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