The meet time was 9:30 AM at the Federal Triangle station of the DC Metro and even rising at 5:30 AM this was an impossible goal that would require perfect road and rail conditions of which neither materialized. The drive averaged out to the speed limit between normal highway driving and the imposing menace of orange construction beacons which ended when I reached the Metro Station where I was awash in ebullient whiteness. “The ticket machine lights just went out, what should I do?” some tweener asked as every other person had no difficulty grasping that the machine display illustrated entered funds, and in that he’d yet to proffer the money his mom gave him there was no response.
The train car filled after the first two stations and then filled again at the third. I was glad to have a seat but the close quarters and my stature led two children to use my legs as structural supports to anchor them during the starting and stopping of the train. They had fleece jackets on so I had tiny sentient leg warmers until they got bored and nonchalantly started pulling at each others hair in a space on the floor made by the serendipitous arrangement of Ugg boots in a gaggle of sorority girls. The train moved in fits and starts while the person to my right vicariously lived my attempt to make meeting arrangements as 9:30 receded with her intent eyes staring at my phone screen. 11 was the new target. Someone shouted “a monument, a monument” and cheers erupted as if some latter day re-enactment of Xenophon’s Anabasis had just occurred and in under an hour the bolus of passengers was ejected and I tried to make a transfer to another line. After four full trains passed I walked to the Federal Triangle station pylon and began firing off coordinating messages when I was then met by three of the eventual party.
While waiting I spied a former girlfriend of a friend and shot out this sublime call to the girl whose name I didn’t know
Hey you! Yeah, you who didn’t turn around, you dated Craig Harris for a bit but then you split up and you don’t like your picture being taken even though you look nice. You work for a school or something in education and you’re wearing a green coat!
My friend’s wife leaned to me a politely said “next time, lead off with coat color”.
Tocks ticked and sometime before 1 we were all together but opted for lunch over rally. We consume and depart through a crush of humanity that seems to be moving in the wrong direction when arriving at the mall we realize why, seeing that even with my 400mm lens I couldn’t make out the Jumbotron on which the event was being rebroadcast. I’m passed by a moan of zombies whose fake bloodsoaked shirts reveal the depth of their convictions when contrasted with the pristine designer jeans.
I give up keeping up and regroup at the Washington monument and one of the three worthwhile moments of the day occurred:
The shadow of Washington is cold and I depart north finding the leaving far easier than the arriving and tired of having met every progressive Caucasian in the time zone I head back to Ockanickon. Worthwhile moment 3: saying “yes, I’ve played some Egyptian Rat Screw, what rules do you use?” Games 45 and 46 of my winning streak have been logged.