There are a couple of people that I don’t really know, but that I still see on my daily commute to work. I commented on this to a coworker of mine who lives near me and catches the Metro at the same stop. He said that he doubted he pays enough attention, or is really awake enough, to really recognize anyone. And he has a point. The 4 people that I see on a regular basis in the mornings are identifiable not by their faces, but by some other defining characteristic… let’s run down the cast of characters.
- Blind Man: There is the blind man with the cane and a khaki photographer vest. (Yes, I realize the irony of this but truly that is what it looks like to me.) I can tell if I am on time or not by when I encounter this man. If he’s already up on the street I am in trouble – running late. If I see him on the escalators, I am doing okay (various degrees of okay depending on which of the 3 escalators we’re on). And if I see him get off the train then I am ahead of schedule. Sidenote: There is another blind man with a dog who I see only occasionally and typically not in the mornings. He’s easily identifiable not only by the dog but also by the endless stream of conversation he carries on with the dog. “That’s a good boy. Are you tired, boy? Maybe you can sleep a little until we get off. Then you’ll have to wake up and lead me up those stairs.”
- Airport Employee: Dressed daily in green pants and a striped white and green shirt with a green color, AE is clearly not a morning person. She and I first “met” when we both went for the same open seat. I was oblivious to her until I was sitting down (yes, I won) and saw her giving me the evil eye. It continued on for the rest of the trip. I don’t know if she really is an airport employee or not, but her uniform combined with her disembarking the train each morning at the stop that connects to the airport line makes me think so… although I feel sorry for any travel-weary passengers dealing with her first thing in the am.
- Red Dress Lady: I don’t know this woman’s story. I know only that she gets on one stop after me and wears the same outfit – a patterned red and brown dress topped with an entirely out of place open button-down white shirt – at least twice a week and frequently thrice… I think that were I to wear the same clothing that often I would at least choose something a little less llamativo.
- Big Head: Seriously, this guy has one of the largest heads I’ve ever seen. He lives a couple stops up from me and actually works in my office. I can’t manage to get up the courage to say anything though. I mean, what do I say? He probably doesn’t recognize me at all and I can’t exactly tell him WHY he stands out so much to me.
All of this does make me wonder if I am a constant figure on anyone else’s morning commute. Perhaps Blind Man recognizes my footfall and judges his timeliness accordingly. Or perhaps Airport Employee still gives me the evil eye when I’m not looking…