This is how it ends. You. Stuck underground with a hundred or so unsuspecting victims. Only, you’re not in the warm embrace of the earth. You’re in a train, and the conductor hasn’t said a word in the last 20 or so minutes.
Segments of recent news reports play back in your mind: “And in Moscow…rush hour…tens dead and hundreds injured.”

Doesn’t do much to help your current situation, does it?

People are getting restless. The group of three – Indian, you suppose – students chatter on, but the continuous fidgeting of a jean clad leg bemoans their growing boredom.

The lady next to you squats down; obviously fatigued from standing for the last…30 minutes now.
And you. Music still blaring from your ipod, you take out your notepad and jot down observations. Lady next to you is up again, and she’s struck a conversation with the passenger next to her.

If the entire world were locked up in a confined space, we wouldn’t have a choice than to become best friends…or worse enemies. Either way, there’d be more interaction than we allow ourselves in “normal” situations.

A second train heading in the direction of Shady Grove whisks past your motionless carriage.

What’s happening at Dupont?

Anyway, back to playing Sherlock.

Moscow sounded as far away as Pluto when it happened. But standing here, impatiently waiting to get to work with hundreds of strangers, it sounds uncomfortably familiar.

Leather jacket, black heans, purple shirt, matching bag and somewhat outrageous sunglasses. Those could be the identifying elemtns that distinguish you from a mass of other bodies were the worst to happen.

Now, even the previously annoying allergies seem to have waned; a much larger threat looms.
Or not. The train just moved – still, no correspondence from the conductor.

A collective sigh of relief as the train pulls into your final stop: Dupont Circle.

Photo Source: Photo 1

Author

Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.

3 Comments

  1. The travails of Red-Line riders! These episodes have a way of making you look at life (and death) and a totally new way. Perhaps Metro spends a lot more money on maintaining security than they do on proper track and train maintenance. If so, why can't they spend on both? Oh wait! Huge budget deficits…
    This all makes for a scary ride each way.

  2. I laughed reading this Jemila.

    I, however, have a sneaking suspicion that only those of us who commute in Washington, DC (typically the awful red line in either direction – Shady Grove or Glenmont) can relate to this tale which is our daily reality.

    You said it in sure Sherlock terms, girl. This should go on some DC publication like EXPRESS. I'm sure others will definitely relate. Seriously, look into having it published in one of the major DC papers. It is really that good and so relatable!

    I find that I like the conductor silences better than when they come on every five minutes apologizing for the delay – which only hightens my irritation. The fact that i always have something printable to read doesn't help much either:-)

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