Metro, Metro, Metro…

Omg. Did I seriously just go 11 days without blogging? They’re going to take the term away from me!

For those of you unaware, we were out of our house all week last week due to a sewer pipe problem (no, nothing gross came in our house but it would have if we hadn’t stopped using the water). We got back in right before Shabbat last week, so I finally am starting to feel like I live here.

My genius sister arrives Sunday and will help finish getting things organized and decorated. We just need a couple good days before the baby comes! And if we don’t get it…well, then we don’t get it!

The headline to my column this week is so funny. It’s always fun for me to see what the editor does with it. “Ready to trade bad Metro manners for road rage.” I have two updates to the column and the general Metro saga. I got on the Metro this past Monday morning, fully in my stage here of feeling like I can’t even walk – and not feeling like a martyr because the last time I had to hold my purse for the 10 minutes it took me to find a seat I was really in pain.

So I got on and after about one second, I heard myself saying, “Anyone on this train who doesn’t need to sit? I’m due in a week.” Hopefully I sounded nice. I was so stunned at hearing myself shout this out I don’t even know what my tone was. So who gets up? This nice young woman. I realized later that she was getting off on my stop so she spent the next 20 minutes standing in her high heels. Meanwhile, the guy next to me sat and read his book. I felt so badly that she was uncomfortable, but I couldn’t stand, and its not like I was going to say something to the rest of the crowd. Who knows, maybe the strong looking young guy sitting next to her (and then me) had some disability I couldn’t see. You know, the same invisible difficulties the 10 other people in the special needs seats must have had!

Even sitting, it was miserable. For the first few stops, the conductor would announce that the air conditioning wasn’t working on the first car so he would wait if anyone from the first car wanted to switch to the second or third cars. This produced much muttering on my car because no one could see how the air was working where we were. After the train got so full that no one else could get on at the stops, the conductor simply announced that the air wasn’t working on the first car and that there were other trains behind him that the new passengers should wait for. With all the stops, announcements, and lack of air, I was having flashbacks to the deadly Chicago heat wave when I was going downtown for my internship every day. I had a panic attack on the Skokie Swift one day. I stepped into the train, felt the cool air and sighed with relief. Then everyone else got on. I could feel the air sucked into the walls instantly. There were just too many overheated people and they absorbed the air.

I couldn’t face having to ask for a seat again that afternoon so I sent an e-mail out to the Potomac Jewish list serve to see if anyone was driving from downtown to Potomac on Monday afternoon. I sent it too late though and didn’t get any responses till the next day. I managed to find an empty train and it wasn’t a big deal to metro home. But that was the end of my commute for now. I couldn’t walk or stay awake or function at work. I’m now just working from home. I can barely sit up in bed or on the couch, much less get to the office. I feel so silly it didn’t occur to me to e-mail the list serve earlier because I have now gotten so many nice responses. Good sign about the new neighborhood!