Washington apparently is the city of adrenaline. I’ve been here ten years and everyone has been in a hurry the whole time. We have not gotten anywhere yet, but we’re making excellent time.

There are stories that this used to be a sleepy backwater kind of town, but there is little evidence of that now. The legendary heat and humidity used to slow people down, but now it just speeds them up as they dash for the next air-conditioned space. The humidity is “explained” by saying that the city was “built on top of a swamp,” which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, because even if true, if the city were built “on top of” a swamp, that swamp would be “gone,” unless of course it just moved into the basement of the US Capitol Building, for which there is some evidence. Be that as it may, in the city at large, pedestrians now scamper back and forth on the sidewalks all day outside my window, moving at least as fast as our nationally first-place clotted traffic, and of course, broken Metro. People have switched from shoes with audible heels to rubberized quasi-sneaker shoes that allow for fast, stealthy scurrying, so you can’t hear anyone closing hard from behind on the left. Same for all the bicyclists out there now, some of whom seem to think the sidewalk is safer for them, if not anyone else. Can we have some gear-shaped wooden tires, please?

But back to the adrenaline subject. One thinks of adrenaline as nature’s own energy drink. Someone should cut us off. Because if you think back to biology class, what adrenaline creates is the “fight or flight” reaction. All you need to know about Washington, right there.