It was bound to occur. The perfect storm.
On this rainy day in May, the first work day after a 3-day weekend, I entered the depths of the Metro, only to find a gaggle of people waiting for a train, which was obviously delayed. I sighed and looked up at the marquee, to see that the next train would not arrive for another 9 minutes. As I stood on the platform, I watched as hoards of other commuters came down onto the platform. Finally, the train arrived, already packed with people. Half the platform emptied, as commuters squeezed their ways into the already-packed trains anxious to make it to their destinations. Rather than force my way in, I waited for the next train, which was scheduled to arrive in another five minutes. I patiently played sudoku on the platform, walking away from any individuals displaying symptoms of the swine flu.
Finally, the next train arrived. Although stuffed with humanity, I reluctantly pushed my way in, as the next train would not arrive for another 7 minutes and would also be bound to be packed. I positioned myself toward the opposite door, flanked by a plexiglass wall and the door, and I held on for dear life. The train moved forward, herking and jerking about, stumbling toward the next stop. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, we arrived at the Rosslyn stop, where even more individuals boarded the train. A woman pressed up against me, and the perfume emanating from her body immediately swarmed into my nasal cavity. I could taste the alcohol and artificial botanicals on my tongue. The train doors closed. We lurched forward, stopped, lurched, stopped, lurched, stopped. I held on as best as I could, while attempting to hold my breath for fear that a deep inhalation would lead to the Metro shutting down because of me—that I would be the sick customer.
Finally, I arrived at my destination. I burst out of the train and headed up the stairs as a warm feeling simmered under my breath. As I emerged from the depths of the Metro, I ran toward the nearest garbage and puked my breakfast out, much to the horror of those around me. I stood there for just a while longer, head down, panting in relief. At that moment, I did not think of Tina Fey NPH. I did not think of a life of Hollywood fame and fortune. Amidst my puking stupor, a fellow commuter came up to me and asked, “Are you okay?”
My mission, buried beneath nausea and bile, became clear. I channeled Tina Fey NPH and replied, “I’m awesome.” (Then I rubbed a gallon of hand sanitizer over my hands that touched the nasty garbage can). Savor my devotion.
Discover me, Tina Fey NPH!