|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
He bent to her, closed his eyes, and her lips touched his, gently, and again more urgently as he responded. He felt her arms around him, her body yearning against his in the embrace, a knot like hunger inside, heart quickening, cool hands at his back under the warmth of his jacket, searching, pressing him closer still. With everything to see and hear around them there at the very crossroads of the world, soaring billboards, scrolling news crawlers, bright digital Jumbotrons that lined the tall buildings and blotted out the whole evening sky, it all disappeared to its rightful insignificance, flat as a postcard. That place was left outside their small circle, and if asked right then he might have stayed there within it forever. But he felt her smile against his lips as they were brought back to where they stood by the brusque voice of a passing man, who advised in his native Brooklynese that maybe they should go and get a room.
A light drizzle had begun to fall, and down the block they found a coffee shop with two seats by the window where they could wait out the patch of rain. When he returned from the counter with their cups he found her sitting with a folded newspaper, not reading it but lost somewhere in her thoughts. It was a while before she spoke.
"I was starting to worry you'd forgotten I was here."
Molly took a deep breath and seemed to collect herself for a moment.
"I need to ask you something."
"If we hired you, your company, what would you tell us to do?"
He frowned a bit. "You mean if you and your mom hired us?"
"It's more than just the two of us, you know that. A lot more."
"I don't know," he said. "What is it you want to accomplish again?"
"We want to save the country."
"Oh. Okay. Is that all?"
"That's where we start, isn't it? With a clear objective."
"Okay. Let me think for a minute."
Molly had become deadly serious; this wasn't party talk. She didn't take her eyes from his as she waited.
"I guess;' he said, "I'd begin by sitting down with all these different groups and trying to focus everyone on the things they agree on -- the fundamentals. A platform, you know? Make it easy for people to understand what you're about. Propose some real answers."
"Give me an example."
"I don't know-start with the tax code, since your mom is so passionate about that. How about a set of specific spending cuts and a thirteen percent flat tax to start with? Get that ridiculous sixty-seven-thousand-page tax code down to four or five bullet points, and show exactly what effects it'll have on trade, and employment, and the debt, and the future of the country."