as if part of history too, the wooden toilets still have pull chains, marble floors; you can see where the traffic’s been by the way the shiny black veins are dull. It’s hard for more than two to wait in the narrow space, air thin as fingernails on a mummy. If there were ghosts of any dead presidents’ wives, they’d pick this bath- room, I imagine: shadowy, genteel. Echoes of well- dressed women laughing. Now hardly anyone at the noon film isn’t old, wearing brown or rose madder, slightly frayed like the room. Everything in this light is muted, flung into the past, so when you take the fifth-floor elevator down to exit on Constitution or Pennsylvania Ave., the bright light stings.