"Conversation in the Metro"

A girl on her cellphone is having a ... conversation ... with someone on her cellphone.

It's a loud ... conversation. She's behind me as we walk through the tunnels:

Girl on cellphone: "I know, right?"
Girl on cellphone: "So I said, 'Marie, you ...' I know, right?"
Girl on cellphone: "And then ... I know, right?"
Girl on cellphone: "And Marcus, he just ... I know, right?"
Girl on cellphone: "So - Listen! I know, right?"

I probably should have been laughing to myself but, this kid had one of those voices that made me wince. It hurt. 

So I picked up the pace and tried to discreetly up my stride in an effort to reduce her volume a little.

Girl on cellphone: "That was ... I know, right?"
Girl on cellphone: "Yeah, and ... I know, right?"
Girl on cellphone: "Marcus was there, too ... I know, right?"
Girl on cellphone: "And then Marcus, he ... I know, right?"
Girl on cellphone: "No. Really. I know, right?!"

It wasn't working. 

Since my first attempt to avoid the droning one-sided-yakathon-screecher-conversation failed, I took a shortcut through a parking garage.  Leaving the tunnel should have, A-squared plus B-squared equals, given me about 10 yards or better when I cut back into the tunnel by the Korean guy's store. I thought that would easily take care of Little Miss Monologue.

And -- it didn't work.

I must have slowed down or she sped up during my shortcut-trick. 

Or she ran, more likely, because she was obviously sent by the Devil to annoy me.

Yep.  As I reentered the tunnel, there she was.  Right behind me.  Again.

Girl on cellphone: 

"Hey! Weren't you just in front of me before?"


-- JM --


I'm Batman.

This AA Flight Attendant would be almost 90 today.

On the walk to work this morning, I found a young woman's American Airlines ID card and some miscellaneous AA badges on the floor in the Crystal City Shops tunnel.  

They belonged, I was pretty sure, to one of the pilots, navigators, or flight attendants, etc., who often stay in our building during their layovers or whatever they call them.  And I was almost as sure that she dropped them this morning in the middle of her trip to the airport.  If this were a Saturday or Sunday morning, I'd have taken them back to the apartment building.  But today was (well, okay:  is) Tuesday, so it was more likely that she'd soon be arriving at the Metro station entrance (which wasn't even open yet) and I'd be there in about 5 minutes.  Her train wouldn't be leaving for almost an hour.  

I also reasoned that she probably didn't even know they were gone yet.  She probably wouldn't notice they were missing until she tried to board her flight or go through whatever door 'they' go through that 'we' aren't supposed to.   

That would suck.

If she realized her ID was gone before her train to the airport arrived she'd likely head back to the apartments to trace her steps in hopes she'd find what I found.   And, I thought, if I didn't see her on my way to the Metro station, I'd just take them back to the apartment building at the end of the day and leave them at the front desk ... they may even know who to call at AA and advise that they'd been found.

So when I got to the station, there she was.  

Completely oblivious.  

She was staring at something invisible on the ground and trying to pretend she couldn't smell the homeless guy.  Who smelled like day old pee.  You can smell him from 20 yards away -  30 if the wind from the tunnel is good enough.  He's usually there early in the mornings when it's cold.  The gate to the Metro Station wasn't open yet.  

I walked toward her (she matched the photo on one of the badges) and she backed away like I was attacking her.  

"S'this you?"

I held up her badge so she could see her picture.  

It was way early and I'm not exactly a smiley pleasant guy to strangers in the morning (unless that's my job and I'm working), especially when I'm standing five feet away from a guy who smells very strongly of old pee and whatever else he hasn't washed off -- so I didn't blame her for backing off initially.

"Oh my God!" she gasped.

It was like I just did a really cool magic trick.  I looked at the front of her badge to check in case something other than her picture wasn't on it and I didn't, for some reason, think a picture of some dude looked like her.

"Oh my God!"  she said again as she checked her American Airlines scarf and her American Airlines lanyard (where her American Airlines ID wasn't).   And I'm still holding out her badge.

She also fumble-checked the hidden compartment on the back of her special American Airlines-issued "fits-perfectly-in-the-overhead-compartment" flight attendant kit.  It wasn't there either.  And I'm still holding out her badge.

I was kinda wondering what she was checking for ... did she think I was holding out a badge that looked like hers but wasn't really hers?  Maybe she had an extra.  "I'm good, I have one of those already." 

"Oh my God!" she said again.  "Thank you thank you!"

She was probably tired, too.  She had no other words, really.

"You're welcome, ma'am."

I'm Batman.

Who else needs help?