Marymount B.L.O.G.S

Like most MU students, I don’t live on campus.  Nor do I live in Woodley Arms nearby.  No, I like the majority of my fellow Saints commute to our fair campus each and every day.  Some students drive, but good luck trying to find parking, especially if you’re late.  Some walk or ride their bikes…at least theoretically as I have never seen a bike rack at Marymount.  Others take a bus or ride the train and then hop on the campus shuttle.  I combine some of the above.  Each morning I don my bike helmet and ride 2.5 miles to the Van Dorn Street Metro Station, ride the Blue line to Rosslyn, change to the Orange to Ballston Metro, then walk to MU’s Ballston campus where I finally board the express shuttle to campus.  I will never be accused of having too little variety.  But one thing usually stands out during my morning (and evening, in which everything I just mentioned gets done in reverse) commute.  The Metrorail operator.
I have a habit of listening to the voice of the operator and creating an entire character out of it.  When they say “Pentagon City Metro.  Doors on the right.  Pentagon next station,” I imagine who they are and what they do for their other job.  In my world, you only operate Metro trains on the side.  Usually in the morning, my operator will be Papa Joe.  He’s never said his name, but I imagine Papa Joe to be a grandfatherly man who wears a Polo shirt tucked into his khakis at all times.  He has a white beard and a refined Southern accent that tells the world he is both regal, but friendly.  In my mind he used to work odd jobs, that’s where he gets his wisdom, but eventually started a successful restaurant and has semi-retired.  Occasionally I will get Patty.  She is young, maybe only 25 years old, and a full time cheerleader.  She is remarkably energetic at 7 o’clock in the morning, which also makes me think she comes to work straight from her job as a barista at a local coffeehouse.  Her bubbly voice always perks me up, though I prefer the slow wake up of a morning ride with Joe. At night, it’s all about Jazz Rick.  I call him Jazz Rick because in between calling out stations he is hosting a syndicated jazz radio show and talking it up with the all time greats.  He is in his early forties, but he knows everything there is to know about jazz.  You can tell by the way he elongates words like “Fraaaaaancoonia Spppparingfiiield.”  One night Papa Joe filled in for Jazz Rick on the Blue Line train, and I was struck by how good of a job he did hosting the radio show as well.  Maybe he is Jazz Rick’s dad.  Hmmmm…
Well, that’s all for this month, folks.  Come ride the Blue Line with me sometime, you will definitely be entertained!

~Ben



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