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POTUS at night

My day is busy. Not your average “Oh, I've got so much to do before I can sit down and have a glass of wine at 8PM” busy. No no. Mine is more “Oh, I've got so much to do with the countries deficit before I can sit down for a meeting with the Ukrainian ambassador after I get my vice president to bitch slap the Senate around.” In being so busy, I don't really have a lot of time to personally relax. Sure, I could take a bunch of vacation days and retreat to Camp David but I doubt that's going to look good in the public eye. If I take one now, I might as well spend the rest of my presidency there because I won't be getting elected again.

But the one thing I've taken some solace in, is in talking to my personal Secret Service agent. He happens to be a friend of mine, from another life, and he's helped me do something that I hope all the other Presidents are able to enjoy. He's afforded me the luxury of freedom, despite being the leader of the most Free country on the planet. He's shown me a route, that can bypass all cameras and patrols, that will get me out of the White House without being detected. So, naturally, I might as well go to the one place that I feel most comfortable.

I've visited all of the homeless shelters in Washington, at least once. Some of them more than others, and they feel comfortable to me. No one really asks questions, no one talks unless it's mutually agreed. There's a quiet sense of anonymity, if you can get past the drunken ones who can't control themselves. Most of the times when I visit it's under the guise of some charity or donation, but I've been going a lot at night. Most are asleep then, with a few wandering the streets who were denied admission. They usually crash nearby, stuck in the cold and rain.

And I can see one now. Even from across the street, I can hear him grumbling. The wind ripping past me didn't drown out his sorrows at all. Maybe he needs someone to talk to, I've always had a good ear for peoples woes. Crossing the street isn't exactly difficult now, with few cars roaming the pavement. I closed the gap as quickly as possible, trying to limit the amount of time my face could be visible. A president wandering the streets at night doesn't need any extra attention.

The first thing that caught his eye was my shoes. I've always considered them an indicator of someone status, and I guess he did too. That or my shoes reflecting the streetlights managed to blind him. “How are you doing?” I said, pulling my coat up around my neck. “They wouldn't fuckin let me in.” He grumbled back, looking up at the window. He picked up a rock and threw it, missing by some considerable margin. He went back to staring at the ground.

Building 11 "Stranger at the Door"

On Wellington Street

“It is hard to make friends around here. It is just the sort of place this is. People are rather open to strangers, but not to one another. No matter what the relationship that people have during the day, when the night comes the doors close tight and the shades are drawn. Outsiders are welcome, but our neighbors are not to be trusted. It can be lonely, so shortly after coming here I got a dog to keep me company.

His name is Ureal. When it comes to dogs, I prefer the larger breeds. Even a kind dog is enough to drive most people away if it is large enough. a place like this, such a thing is valuable. So when I went to make my choice, I picked Saint Bernard from a nearby pound. I do not know why he had such a strange name, but what interested me immediately was his age. He was three years old.

I know that older dogs aren't adopted as much. People want puppies, something they will grow up with. But I don't care about stuff like that. He was very friendly, and came up to me right away. He obviously had some training, but that was about all the good that could be said about the previous owner. He was missing patches of fur and seemed to have a slight limp. However, the thing that stood out most was his eye; he only had one.

I was told he had been abused, that his previous owner had been crazy. I didn't need to hear much to know what happened. I had already made up my mind. Within a couple of minutes I had filled out the paperwork, and within a week he had become part of my flat.

Months passed, and I became used to coming home to him. When night closed in, him and I would sit down on the couch while I would work on my writing. It was nice having him around, when the nights became quiet. The only thing peculiar about him, besides the missing eye, was the way he sometimes would just stare off into space, for sometimes upwards of a half an hour.

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