I landed in Los Angeles about 4 hours ago. I'm here for NPR's Impact of War training workshop.
After navigating public transportation and checking into my hotel, I realized that I hadn't eaten since early this morning. At 1 a.m. why not walk up and down dark streets in an unfamiliar town in search of food?
The only nearby places open were a CVS Pharmacy and Del Taco. Not interested.
So, I walked.
I walked about 2 miles until I found a 24-hour Subway.
I go inside, order my veggie sandwich and behind me walk in two fellas. Well, what's more interesting than an early morning sandwich run? Conversation ensues...
Tim and Neil had just spent their evening dealing with a dramatic neighbor. I told them why I was in town and why I walked so far from my hotel to eat.
"Wow. That's a really long walk. Very impressive, just to avoid Del Taco," said Neil.
And then it hit me.
"Omigawd. I'm going to Iraq. I'm going with rules, with the military, with a professor..."
Why it hit me then and never before, I don't know. But it's keeping me awake tonight.