June 26th, 2001

JOY

Another commuting entry

For a nice change of pace today, I took the yellow line to L’enfant and switched trains. The super-bonus of this route is that part of the ride is over a bridge that you get a great view of the river and the monuments. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been over it, it’s a sight that makes even the most hardened commuters stop and look.

I again found myself in the “freak seat”. This is the first forward facing seat in the row that is right next to the one side-facing seat near the door so the two make kind of an L shape. This is the same seat I was sitting in the first time I ever rode the metro ever (when I was meeting Dale who was in town with her class at the Hirshhorn) when this crazy tourist just kept staring at me and proceeded to tell me her life story. But that’s a tale for another time.

Today, in the side-facing seat was a well-put-together lady in her late forties and a not-so-well-put-together woman in her late forties. The Mess Lady was falling asleep. I don’t mean the normal, saggy-eyed, commuter doze, this woman was falling asleep as if she was either full of sedatives or had been sleeping there all night. She kept falling over onto the Together Lady who was trying to ignore the situation and read her book. Together Lady would nudge her over, and the Mess would mutter something to the effect of “what time is it?” It happened several times. At this point, I was disgusted. All I could think about is how if it were me in the other seat, I'd start getting belligerent.

Then in a surprising turn of events, the train gets held up due to a “switch problem” and we are idle for a while. Mess Lady stands straight up and staggers around the train in a vain effort to keep herself awake. She leaned against the pole and stood upright for a while, but slowly, her back bent and her face came closer and closer to the floor. Just when I thought her mug was going to press itself on the carpet, she’d snap up. Then kinda slump over to the side, looking like she was going to lay down on the floor, and inevitably, snap up. At this point, I was ready to start taking bets. I figured pass-out would pay 1:1, but a full-on vomit would be worth at least 3:5.

Unfortunately, I was one of the few that was actually paying attention, and of the payers-attention, I was the only real gambler in the bunch and I knew no one would appreciate if I stood up and shouted something along the lines of "Hey Sportsfans! Who wants odds on the pass-out?"