OPINION: Story time with beloved Sen. Brown

Scott Rainey (New)

Scott Rainey

About a year ago, I was walking with other interns into the basement of the U.S. Capitol, excited to meet the senator we would be working for: Sen. Sherrod Brown. He found us, walked us onto the Senate floor and began telling stories. He told us of his time in the Senate, stories about other famous senators and showed us the desks where Obama and the Kennedys once sat.

From there, he took us into a private office space, and he began to ask us questions, share his insights as a lawmaker and answer the questions that we had for him.

He began by asking us where we were from, what we studied in school and what we hoped to get out of this internship. I was sitting right next to the guy, and I was beaming. I was sitting next to Sen. Brown! This was amazing! I certainly didn’t want to do anything weird because then he would think I was weird! I didn’t want that.

So, as I was doing my best not to say something strange, I immediately said something strange.

One of the other interns mentioned that they went to Revere High School, and my initial thought was, “Ah yes, the school of Jeffrey Dahmer, a noted insane person and convicted serial killer. I wonder if this will come up in conversation.” As I remember, someone else brought up Dahmer, but that didn’t stop me from sharing my interesting (and obviously creepy) insights into the famous serial killer with our esteemed senator and boss.

I began telling him about Dahmer’s behavior in high school, and he turns to me and says, “How do you know so much about this guy?” Now, I never thought in my entire life that I would have to explain to a United States senator why I knew so much about a serial killer. But here we were.

I said, “In high school, my 11th grade English teacher had us read a graphic novel called ‘My Friend Dahmer,’ a book written by one of his high school classmates,” as if this was a perfectly reasonable explanation of why I’d told everyone this.

“You had a strange high school teacher,” he told me as he chuckled. I suppose I did.

He has such a good natured way of being honest, and even though I was clearly embarrassed, I didn’t feel like it was because of him. He just told me, “Hey man, that’s weird,” and I thought, “Yep, that’s right. Time to never bring up a convicted murderer in front of anyone of importance ever again.”

Sen. Brown continued to ask us questions about ourselves, and he told us about his life as a lawmaker. He is incredibly accomplished and seems to absolutely love his job. We’re all waiting to find out if he is running for the presidency in 2020. If he is, I’m proud to say that unlike the reports about other senators, he treats his people well, if only he finds it strange that one of his interns knows a little too much about Jeffrey Dahmer.

Scott Rainey is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected]