Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Metro Moment

Heading home yesterday after a post-work happy hour around 8 o'clock, I descended into Dupont Circle Metro station and was faced with a frustrating situation. The train board (is that what you call it?) looked like this:

-- Train 12
No passenger 14
Glenmont 18

Ouch. For those of you outside the DC area, -- Trains are what I like to call "phantom trains" - sometimes they come on line, other times they won't pick up passengers and just speed on by. So it looked like I was in for an 18 minute wait.

Grunting, I sat down on a bench and was joined by two other commuters. Another guy on a Blackberry came over and asked about the -- Train. "50/50 chance it will pick us up," I said. From there, the ice was broken. While we waited, the four of us chatted about the sad state of the Metro system, the NBA Playoffs (the guy next to me was concerned he would miss the game unless the train showed up soon), the presidential primaries (with updates from the Blackberry guy), and the impact of racism on American politics.

It was good conversation for the Metro, a place where friendliness and eye-contact go to die. But it ended as soon as (thankfully) the -- Train pulled in and with passengers. We then got up and went our separate ways...

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