Metro Moments: Distractions Edition

Thursday, May 15, 2008
There is sometimes a moment on the metro home from work when I notice that the light has changed. It falls sharper and brighter on the page of my book or on my half-closed eyelids. I look in, and take a quick breath. The train has moved out of the tunnel, and suddenly there is water. Even with the guard rails and the set of the tracks, the view of the river and the flashing-by tour of the monuments--Washington, the top of Lincoln, and then Jefferson--always makes me smile a bit and gives me a moment of wonder at this squat skyline I am trying to embrace as I become comfortable with living in this city.
But it's only a moment, because then I remember that if I'm watching this tour in fast-forward, I have--in my desire to get home, or because my inability to check the stripe of color in the LED display when I am tired and distracted-- boarded the wrong train. I have to get off at L'Enfant and turn around.
Somehow, I never mind.
---- ---- ----- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

I see him when I am on the other side of the circle, he is rounding towards me, tall and somewhat lanky except for his biceps which are large enough to raise Mitchell's eyebrows. But it is the t-shirt I recognize first, the Columbia crown in white stretching across the front of his blue shirt I think of saying something to him, but let him run past me. We are on the inside of the circle, and a homeless man who has laid his blanket out on a bench on the outer path near the entrance, beckons to the Columbia runner.
"Cool shirt man!"
He hesitates and then jogs over.
"What's it from."
I linger to hear more, but, tired and hungry and on my way home, I do not move close enough to hear more.
"I am a proud and loyal graduate."
There is gesturing and gesticulating, he fingers his own sleeve as if to demonstrate the quality of his own t-shirt.

I notice, that people are moving home slowly despite the gray skies that threaten to release the rain that has flooded parts of the region earlier in the week, but I too join those who walk home slowly as if daring the sky to soak them before they make it home.

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Written Pyramids is a blog written by a journalist living and working in Washington D.C.

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