Tuesday, May 26, 2009

An Open Epistle to the Unknown Commuter

Yes, you on the orange line this morning at the Court House stop.

The train was full. Crammed-to-the-gills, Tokyo-style, sardine-level full. In fact, the sheer laws of physics - specifically the placement and displacement of human matter - precluded your entry into the car.

But you are a Very Important Person traveling to a Very Important Job - a position much more important than the jobs of us 800 or so peons. So, rather than wait for the train just two minutes behind the full one, you jammed your briefcase/yoga mat/oversized Kelly bag into the door.

The metro driver cajoled, ordered and pleaded. The doors opened and shut nearly ten times. But you remained stalwart. "Don't you know who I am?" you might have thought or muttered to the recalcitrant door.

Like an insolent lawnboy soon to be dispatched to the INS by your omnipotent hand, the door did not obey. In fact, the entire train defied your wishes and soon refused to operate, spurring its driver to disboard us all.

And we were all late to work.

I never saw you, up in the front car, only heard the metro driver call out your presence. But I've seen your type on many commutes. You sprawl out your legs into your seatmate's personal space or fan out the contents of your briefcase across the entire seat during rush hour. You jabber loudly into your Blackberry in the morning silence. You shoulder aside all in your way in the rush to the turnstile.

Thank you Fairfax/Arlington Power Player for violating the social contract of public transportation. If you were really as important as you thought you were, your last name would be Obama and you'd be commuting in a motorcade, not a subway car.


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