Do You Have to Go?

This is the first Tuesday after the Democratic primaries and it is blistering hot in New York. For days it had been rainy and cool and then suddenly, perhaps because it’s the last days of school, and god is a harsh school-mistress, the weather broke hot like blazes.
We had been out of town, there was no food in the apartment and we were trying to beat the heat. I was heading to the grocery store. My girlfriend was trying to ride the subway before temperatures on the platform reached Hades levels. It was early. We had been awakened by the sound of our a.c. laboring like a jet engine at the end of a runway.
We stopped for a quick breakfast at our local diner. After eating much too fast, I handed the check and my credit card to the owner at the cash register. He asked, “Do you have to go?” He says it to everyone, eyes twinkling over the half glasses teetering crazily on his nose.
Then for the first time, he noticed my last name on the credit card.
“That woman,” he grumbled, “she is my neighbor up in Chappaqua and she’s not nice.”
“Why? What did she do?”
I was thinking all the cable trucks and secret security details must be a pain in the neighborhood.
“I said hello to her once on the street and she ignored me. She’s no good.”
We had to go.
Already I had read some article with dire advice from other also-rans about how to handle the depression that is to come. My local NOW chapter has told me to send her a letter of thanks for all she’s done. What are they, my mother? Of course, I thank her. I’m just not going to bug her for a few days.
On this hot, ordinary Tuesday morning, I hope Hillary Clinton slept in, put on her bathrobe, padded downstairs for coffee, in her own hair with no makeup, didn’t read any papers or watch any TV and maybe just sat quietly and watched peonies bloom in the back yard.