DCA at 12:30 a.m.

I’m five hours early for my 6 a.m. flight to Chicago–blame Washington’s lack of 24-hour Metro service. (It was either this or pay $30 for a taxi at a more reasonable hour.) I don’t know what I was expecting or why, but it certainly wasn’t this: the odd late-night flier like myself, a handful of graveyard-shift workers, a dozen or so homeless men sleeping on the benches overlooking the tarmac.

It’s quiet except for the occasional luggage announcement and the lousy assortment of Christmas music playing. It’s an amazing mix of beautiful and sad and I can’t stop thinking about what a wonderful story could be set in this exact time and place.