November 16, 2007

I've got a load

This is sort of a metro.texture™, which would normally be an image over on my other blog by the same name, but this a story with no image so it can't, by definition, go there. Although it relates to this image that I took on the Metro this morning. (Sardines). Anyway, I digress...

While I was in the maternity time warp I somehow forgot all about my favorite Metro train operator. Well, I had the pleasure of riding into work with her today. I have no idea what her name is but if you ride the Red Line, you know exactly who I'm talking about. If you board one of her trains in the morning you can look forward to a zany running commentary all the way into the city. You'll know you're on one of her trains when you hear a deep and soft female voice that sounds like it should be jockeying jazz on the radio say, "Please enter quickly and safely, quickly and safely, people."

Really what she's got is a special talent. A superpower if you will. With that voice and her strange storytelling ways, she can make the most hectic, crowded, backed-up of commutes (1) fly by, and (2) seem painless. On a chaotic commuting day, everyone within earshot will fall under her spell and forget how they normally conduct themselves on the Metro, which under stressful circumstances would be with hostility and attitude and might even involve pushing and shoving. Hypnotized by the lilt of this woman's voice people actually DO step away from Metro doors that are bursting at the seams when she asks them to. On any other train, with any other driver, you'd find those same people trying shove themselves into the smallest of remaining spaces. Spaces that are not meant to be occupied by human forms. At least not full-sized adult human forms. But when she asks, people listen. It's fascinating.

This morning the Red Line was especially backed up, slow and crowded. And instead of cross words and attitude the only utterances to be heard from this woman's passengers (and in some cases people on the platform AND on other trains) were giggles and chuckles at her peculiar chatter. The man sitting next to me had clearly never ridden with her, because he resisted cracking a smile until we were all the way to Metro Center. But even he could not withstand her powers. I finally saw him smile after I had laughed out loud for about the 10th time.

One quote from this morning as the full train was rolling into the already packed station: "Good morning, good morning, good morning. As you can see, I've got a load." She then proceeded to tell the people on the platform how to be courteous to the passengers that would exit and how they should "quickly and safely" enter the train. But best of all was "if you feel touching or wigglin' don't despair. We've got a load. It's tight in here." That, I think, may have been what finally broke my seatmate's composure.

I think I must tell her I missed her next time I ride with her. It's really a nice way to start your day. Laughing. It sets a standard for the rest of the day to come.

1 comment:

Jen K said...

I adore this woman! Between her and the other driver who I liken to the Barry White of the metro system, they make the ride a blast. And sorry about the delay today. That was my train running without its lights and making passengers get on and off twice.