Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Misadventures on the Metro

chapter 6

**Warning: This chapter may cause severe discomfort as well as associative pain and heart ache.**

It's becoming abundantly clear that I'm fading into the throngs of everyday Metro riders. I no longer panic when the train reaches the station – my eyes darting out the window to see if I've missed my stop. I retired my fancy footwear to a large oversized purse in favor of running shoes, regardless of the outfit. I can balance in the isle without a death grip on the stripper pole. And I never speak to anyone during the commute.

Actually, never is a strong word; I should say almost never.

Whoever thought of the phrase “it dawned on me” was an enlightened person. The symbolism is profound – a light piercing the darkness of thought; a strong realization beaming like a ray of sunshine through the clouds. My most recent “light bulb” moment wasn’t very sunshine-y and caused me to blurt out the following, mid-Metro ride, “Where did you put my dry cleaning?”

“What dry cleaning,” asked my bewildered husband? I’m not sure if he was more surprised by the question or the fact I was breaking the “mum’s-the-word-on-the-Metro” rule.

“What do you mean ‘what dry cleaning,’” I shot back, volume escalating.

“Can we talk about this when we get home?”

“Just tell me what you did with my dry cleaning that was sitting by the front door.” I knew the answer already – it dawned on me the second he asked, “What dry cleaning,” but it was more like a rain shower than a sunbeam.

“Do you mean the bag of Salvation Army stuff?” He knew the answer by the look on my face.

What followed was a series of rhetorical, derogatory questions highlighting my anger, frustration and fury as well as his stupidity, idiocy and blatant disregard for my belongings. Luckily for him we were on the Metro so I refrained from four-letter words and right hooks.

“How could you give my clothes to the Salvation Army? Didn’t you see what was in the pile? Didn’t you recognize the pink silk top I wear all the time? I can’t replace those things. They were my nice work clothes – clothes I cared about enough to dry clean. How could you?”

I should have kept my mouth shut. I know the rules of metro ridership. And the second I remembered my pile of dry cleaning I knew exactly where it had gone. Good thing it was a holiday and there was only a handful of people on the train to witness my breakdown.

I’m sure I’ll see my clothes again…on a fortunate and frugal fellow Metro rider who got a great deal at the Salvation Army.

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