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As you rush through the front door of Booeymonger on Prospect Street NW, your eyes lock on the order taker standing behind the counter. “The usual?” You nod. “Chicken Rico with extra dressing,” he says as he scribbles on his order pad. “What else?” you respond, chuckling. You grab the stub and catch sight of Rob and Zeke, by now old friends who live across the hall from you. “Nice flops, dude,” says Zeke, recalling the trip you three made to Foot Locker back in June to buy flip-flops. “Good thing you guys went for different models, man,” you say, eyeing their feet. “No shit,” responds Rob. “That would have been like putting up a sign saying, ‘We’re dorks.’” They ask you to pull up a chair, but you decline. “No, I gotta read the paper, just in case something happened on Burma. You know—sanctions or something like that,” you explain.

You shuffle along the food line and notice for the first time a sign on the wall advertising Booeymonger “Frequent Buyers Card”—purchase 12 sandwiches and get the 13th free. “Shit, I could have made a killing off that thing,” you say to the clerk, who responds that it’s never too late. “Yeah, but I’m out of here in a week,” you say.

With the Washingon Post spread out to your left, you bite into the sumptuous familiarity of your Chicken Rico and scan front-page stories on the weather, Congress’ race to summer recess, and the little girl who got kicked out of summer camp for kissing all the boys. You’re just about to flip ahead to the international pages in search of something on your beat when suddenly your mind reels back over those long weeks of summer internship.

You fantasize about seeing your name in the widely anticipated study, “U.S. Trade and Investment Sanctions: Iraq vs. Burma” by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). You wrote many of the footnotes and earned props from your boss for summing up the president’s overlapping authorities under the Trading With the Enemy Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. “That’s succinct writing—just what we need in the footnotes,” she said. All of which will translate beautifully into résumese: “Wrote and researched report…analyzed legislation…briefed officeholder…influenced policy debate on export controls.”

Once you left the office, you and your intern buddies cut a swath through Georgetown’s party scene. The voice of Ron, the bartender at Third Edition, rings in your ears: “This one’s on me, bro.”

Now that it’s almost time to go, the only bit of discomfort that lingers is the sunburn on the backs of your legs, which you caught when you went with Jenny, another CSIS intern, to a Navy Band concert on the Mall. After a bottle of wine, you fell asleep face down on the blanket. But even that turned out well—Jenny took it as one more example of your spontaneousness. You made out with her during the cab ride to a party on 33rd Street, where you told Zeke, “Jenny was all over me in the taxi.”

“I knew I’d catch you here,” says Jake, interrupting your daydream. He invites you to hang with a bunch of other interns at River Place, an apartment complex in Rosslyn. “That sounds good,” you respond. “I’m dying to get out of the city.” You bolt from the deli, leaving the Post on the table.CP