After a long, hard day at the office, I was real excited to go home and grill me some pork loins. My mouth was practically salivating by the time I got to the Farragut North platform at 5:30. I had just missed a train and in typical Metro fashion, the next "rush hour" train wouldn't be arriving for another six minutes.
In those six minutes, people continued to pack themselves like sardines. My thoughts had switched from anticipating sweet pork tastiness to fearing how packed the next train would be. That's when I noticed the smell. Something was burning.
I wasn't the only one who noticed it. My fellow commuters were all looking around anxiously, sniffing the air to detect more sulfur. Then smoke started coming out of one of the tunnels. Great.
Here's where this gets interesting. No one reported the smoke. The station, especially my side towards L Street, was still filling with smoke and all people would do was hope and pray that our train came before there was a crippling Metro delay. Our safety had taken a back seat to our impatience. We would have rather sped through a fireball in the tunnel then wait around for twenty minutes underground. I suppose years of Metro delays will do that.
The story has a happy ending. Our train came and my car had enough room for me to stand comfortably. The doors remained open for a few minutes, presumably a delay tactic to fix whatever was wrong. In those few minutes, commuters kept nervously making eye contact with each other. These silent urges to get the train moving aroused feelings of shock and empathy. Shock because people are finally at the point where we're willing to take risks to get home a few minutes earlier. That's kind of crazy. Empathy because, despite all logic and reason, I'm one of those people.