Morning commute. 8:22.
A woman (mid-fifties, fuzzy pants, posh hippie, white) got on the train and sat down next to me. She tapped the (mid-forties, professionally dressed, African American) woman seated in front of her and said, "Dr. Dorothy Height died."
At first, I assumed the women were coworkers discussing a mutual acquaintance. However, when the African American lady looked at her in bafflement, the white woman clucked a little chirp of falsely compassionate condescension and said, "I'm sorry, maybe you've never heard of her, she was a major civil rights leader."
I can only assume that this lady had been circuiting the metro, tapping random black people and informing them of Ms. Height's death in some wildly misguided educational mission.
This makes me wonder if I should have made it a personal mission to track down every aging hipster in Washington to inform them of the death of Alex Chilton.
Evening, headed home after a Target run.
A (rather substantial) woman sat down next to me, gradually inching her way into my space. By which I mean, her book was practically shoved under my nose (sidebar: she was reading lesbian erotica which used a honey metaphor at least three times per page).
When we came to my stop, I gathered my packages and said, "Excuse me." She sighed and tucked her legs to one side, clearly expecting me to clamber over her as if she were a Old Navy-clad jungle gym. I smiled brightly and said, "I'm carrying packages, and will need some more room please." She gave me a look of death, aggrieved at my expecting her to stand up like a person who lives in a society, and moved over another fraction of an inch.
I eventually struggled my way to freedom, but she may or may not have taken a shoe rack to the knees in the process.
Morning Commute, 8:19 am
A woman boarded the train, and in a calm, clear voice said, "Could I get everyone's attention please?" I assumed she was either selling something or off her rocker, so I kept my nose buried in my newspaper.
After a moment, she began to explain that God had woken her up early that morning (really, God is her alarm clock) and called upon her to testify to commuters. The gist was standard street preacher - repent now, find Jesus, cast off Satan, Jesus is awesome, repent or you're gonna die. (Bad form to mention impending death on the Metro, btw.)
This struck me as being a tad intrusive, but, moreover, pretty dang ineffective. Commuters are professionals at creating their own private worlds. Hey, if we can't even recognize a world-class violinist* before coffee, there's no way we're going to recognize the onset of Armageddon.
In the comments, tell me about your favorite Metro weirdo.
*For the record, I frickin' hate that article. I don't think Pulitzers should be given for an article that could have been summed up as, "People on their way to work tend to be in a hurry." And, moreover, the condescending "People have sad lives because they didn't stop for music" thing is way overdone and insulting. People have jobs and obligations and mouths to feed, and as much as we'd like to enjoy a little music, we gotta be on time for work.