the doors of the red line slam open - the metro system in this city has very decisive ideas about when the doors will be open versus when they will be closed, and woe to the person who mistakenly thinks that they can influence this matter - and i turn quickly to the right amidst the crush of travelers. it's a right, then a left, and then down the escalator to the blue and orange lines for the second leg of the trip home.
the Five Stairsteps are on my iPod, singing O-o-h Child, telling me things are gonna get brighter. i sway my head a little, back and forth with the beat of it, as i make my way around the corner towards the escalator, dodging a woman with a double stroller to my left and avoiding stepping on the toes of a gaggle of teenage PIRG volunteers to my right. i am pulled along by the little commuter current; i like this song.
i am put so at ease by the sounds coming through the headphones that i almost don't notice that we are backlogged, for some reason, at the top of the escalator. i survey the scene, a bit confused - there are people moving down the stairs, but the group of half a dozen in front of me is not. why would this be? i see a few of them look at each other, bewildered-like, and i don't need to hear their conversation to deduce that they've never been to Metro Center and are trying to figure out whether this escalator is indeed the one they want. i am trapped by the ebb of other commuters behind and around them; i have no recourse but to wait until they make a collective decision.
luckily, this happens a few seconds later, and they step onto the escalator, with me directly behind. as we descend, i see the blue line train sitting there, doors open.
the people in front of me just stand there. this is not suprising, but infuriating nonetheless. when we reach the floor, i can finally dart around them, but i'm too late - the doors whip shut just a few feet in front of me. i curse silently, and make a kicking motion towards the tracks.
the Five Stairsteps coo, "things are gonna get easier...right now."