Monday, March 18, 2013

Train of Thought

Big list. Lots of errands. Day off. Gonna catch-up! All perfectly timed. Wake up. Check email. Grab coffee. Get dressed. Kids ready for school. Running late. Drive to elementary school. Meeting with school counselor. Goes well. Run back home, grab book and old cable converter box. Gotta get downtown to return it to save monthly rental fee I’ve been paying for over a year! Then to a lunch meeting elsewhere downtown. Gonna take Metro. Drive to Ft Totten. No parking. Drive back to Takoma. Street parking. I have no quarters. Pay by phone! Phone registration fails. Download app. Register again. Pay! Okay. Here we go. Into the station. Swipe my Fare Card. Up the escalator. Just missed the train. Shit. Look at watch. Still running late.

Was she running late? It happened at 10:20 a.m. Why then? Did she just miss the train? Or did she race to catch it just before it left?  

Train arrives. Get on. Find seat. Deep breath. Pull out book. Read. Train arrives: Metro Center. Get off. Study map. Fast walk to the exit. Swipe my card and up the escalator. On 13th Street. Orient myself then walk a half block to F Street. Red light. Waiting at crosswalk. Waiting. Green. I start walking.

That’s what she did. Downtown, heading to work. In the crosswalk with a green light. I calculate in my head. 1 month and 11 more days then it'll be 3 years.

Back on the curb and down the sidewalk. Pull open the glass door and into RCN office. No line! I turn in the old converter box and get a receipt. Quick and painless. Very pleasant and I reclaim a few lost minutes. Back across the street at the crosswalk with the light and I remember.

Remember: It was fast. No suffering. That's what they told you. Maybe she didn’t even know. 

It's chilly. Feels damp like it should have snowed like they said it would but didn't. Down the escalator, swipe the fare card and onto the platform. Look at watch. I’m now just ahead of schedule. Deep breath.  I pull out the book and read a page. Another page. A woman in a in a black skirt with black stockings walks by.

She often wore skirts and black stockings. What did she wear that day? Probably a skirt. But I can’t remember. I don’t even know. I didn’t get her clothes back. I bet it was a skirt.

Train arrives. Only three stops to my next meeting. Lunch meeting with a dear friend to discuss a book project and to ask him to be one of my three Best Men. I read some more of my book. NoMa-Gallaudet. I’ve never been to this stop before. New. Slightly different architecture. Down the stairs, swipe my card, then half a block to our rendezvous restaurant.

Good lunch. We catch-up. Down to business. We talk serious and silly. We laugh at ourselves. We finish and say goodbye. Back to metro. Swipe my card, up the stairs, and wait on the platform. I position to get on the last car to be closer to the escalator. Look at the status sign: 7 minute wait. Read my book. Train arrives. Get on. Find seat. Stare out the window. Arrive at Takoma. Off the train, to the end of the platform, down the escalator, then swipe my card. Walk down the street to my car. Get in. Turn on ignition and head on to the next thing.

Just another day.

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