Your Life in a Four-Hour Road Trip
“Drive as Though YourFamily Were in the Other Car”
You wish drivers would heed this sign, but youknow they won’t. You think Nigeria’s and all world’sproblems might start to resolve if all of you honoredthis advice. You head out of Abuja after the x-rays are taken;Nigeria’s capital has the consulates, the embassies, thebusinessmen, the rich politicians, and the orthodon-tists. Your son needs a jaw expander. You’d like to believe your fervent silent prayers:
Please, please, please let us stay safe
will go answered butyou also think,
This road is one giant crap shoot.
Youthink of this road trip as jumping unknown but cer-tain-to-be-there hurdles. Your husband deftly man-ages rush-hour traffic, swerving around cars thatabruptly brake or turn with no signal, ignoring carsthat pass at crazy speeds or honk impatiently if youslow down. You look like a normal, sane, and safe fam-ily of four in your little royal-blue Toyota mini-vancapsule.
are encouraged. We also welcome and when possi-ble publish extended responses (max. 400 words).
Flu Dot Gov
Hmmm . . . my head nodding, "Yes I agree." I say—"must have theState and locals. . . ." She wonks policy to theOther one leaning toward her, and I cannot look at either, bothearnestIn their worlds and for good reason, for people will surely Die, one has already even this week. I amMyself near expiration, floating as I am above the conversationIn the courtyard of the plaza, and wondering how long we Will be apart in the service of the country, remembering when youSlipped in beside me and I awoke just enough, andThen fell back to sleep. . . . "Let’s tier the calls with the WhiteHouse" and death draws closer. This ploy of Quietude as Wisdom with well-placed, timely agreeable wordsInserted in the conversation with a thread of comprehension, butDelivered with just enough conviction, a dilettante in fullBloom, to get me by—or so I believe, or do not believe. Put your palmOn my cheek and understand me with your eyes, as you do when ICannot speak of this. I will call you tomorrow.09-09
—David L. Myers lives in Arlington, Virginia. In May 2009, Presi-dent Obama appointed him director of the Center for Faith Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. His home and his fiance are in Evanston, Illinois.