... and we just sit there. For like 10 minutes. This means by the time the doors close, the train is packed. Okay, whatever. This happens more than it should with no given reason, but the Metro is breaking down, so I should be glad it didn't derail.
OOOH! Spoke too soon. Halfway down the tunnel, the car stops.
A woman who I assumed was French Canadian (accent) was with two children. One was a fairly well-behaved girl about age 7, and the other was a boy about 3-4. Due to the girl's conversation, we learn the boy had not slept in over two days since they flew in. Detained at security.
Hello, Canada! Now, bend over...
Okay, that's not what they said happened, but apparently customs was a nightmare, and had detained them for no reason for some length of time that caused them to arrive at their hotel at 2am when they got to the airport 10am the previous day.
The young boy was CRANKY. Let's just say those who have children know what lack of sleep can do to someone that age. Oh, hell, those on FanTek security knows what that does to people; fuzzface00 once followed me around asking me to smell his shoes. "No, really! Something smells bad, Grig! I am worried!" Of course, I am not innocent. I once ran a 16 hour security shift after not sleeping for two days and had to be put to bed. Needless to say, I felt like that little Quebec crier from time to time. I had kids, a screaming tot can be tuned out, and the last thing that poor mother (who was doing all the could) needs is someone telling her to shut that...
... oh, sir. That was unnecessary. Yes, some asshat in a blue buttondown short sleeve and government ID asked her if she wouldn't mind and shut her damn kid up. If I wouldn't have had to cut through 8 people, I might have have roundhouse-kicked that balding four-eyed sonofabitch. His face, pressed to the floor with my foot, would be forced to apologize like an angry goldfish, in French, to that woman. Oh, I'd make sure he pronounced anything with an "eu" perfectly or... he loses a tooth... each retry.
Sadly, that did seem to quiet the kid immediately. And thus, anti-social behavior is reinforced. Wonderful.
So we sat in uncomfortable silence while the conductor said about every 5 minutes "there is a train ahead of us, we'll be moving momentarily." That took like 20 minutes. We got to Farragut West, and then sat there for about 10 more minutes, with the additional comment that a train up ahead had "mechanical difficulty." There was a 10 minute pause, and then suddenly, "THIS TRAIN IS NOW OUT OF SERVICE. PLEASE EXIT THE TRAIN!"
Repeat. Flash lights.
Of course, it was very hard to get off the train because the platform was at full capacity. I mean, there was nowhere to go. The platform was already full when we got there. I managed to find a space near the escalator, but I could go no further.
"[mumble mumble] Orange Line [mumble mumble] [mumble mumble] direction of Vienna [mumble mumble] shuttle bus [mumble mumble] [mumble mumble] blue line [mumble mumble] mechanical difficulty [mumble mumble] [mumble mumble] exits [mumble mumble] fnord [mumble mumble] Rossyln."
SHIT! What did she say? Get that gum out of your mouth, you underpaid tart! I was stuck in a huge group of people almost a full head shorter than I, mostly older women and Asians. And being the tallest, they all asked me if I could hear what they were saying? No. Stop asking! The acoustics in Metro stations are abysmal, because they echo like they are in a cement tube... wait, they ARE!
Nobody could hear the announcements. "SPEAK UP!" I heard someone scream. The voice actually paused, but then more [mumble mumble] confirmed it was probably a coincidence. The platform was like a sea of people all held up by friction like too many Q-Tips in a jar.
Finally, a train comes. Blue Line, damn. That lingers for about 10 minutes. A man dressed like Louis Farrakan is sweating profusely in the humid stale air, shouting into a cell phone for someone to wait for him. Then an Orange Line comes. Of course, it's packed like a can of sardines. There's no way another person can fit in this car. And I have been through this before: it takes several trains to find one with room because of the backup.
Sadly, or luckily, a door on the train opens right in front of me. I had no intention of going on because I was met with a wall of sweat-soaked shirt backs. But the crowd behind me had other plans. I was forced in like a Tokyo Subway while I had memories of the 1979 Who Concert in Cincinnati. I mean, I was crushed so hard into the car, I could barely exhale. The train operator said "THERE ARE PLENTY OF CARS BEHIND US, PLEASE DO NOT CROWD THE CAR..." but some people just had to get on the car to rush to their dialysis, I suppose.
I am not claustrophobic, thank GOD, but after being crushed for several stops, and being in humid, stale air, my asthma kicked in. My left leg went numb. My back ACHED. My right ankle (the bad one) groaned and creaked in protest. The train went very slow, due to the huge weight I am sure, and I am also sure we were so top-heavy, a fast turn would have tipped us over. The train rolled in scary ways and people pressed in all directions while I prayed my ankle would hold out and not start a cycle of getting re-injured like last year. And the year before. Et cetera. Somehow (thank you God) it held.
The crowd thinned around Ballston. I got to Vienna one hour and ten minutes late, putting me in that hell for over two hours in total. anyarm waited all that time for me, since she's picking me up this week. I was very grateful.