February 5, 2008
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that’s glad for bad weather in Summit County.
One of our field agents used to live in Washington, D.C., home to politicians, vagrants urinating on street corners, professionals wearing power suits, street litter, national monuments, interns, free museums, immigrants, protesters, aged hippies now part of the corporate machine and lots of single people.
According to this field agent, they were one of probably millions of young people that transplanted to our nation’s capital to seek fortune and gain life experience.
We could barely afford a studio apartment and we had numerous black, tailored suits in our closet,” they wrote. “Walking to the Metro after work, our mood would perk when a quick gust of wind cut the city stench. We’d even smile at the loitering smoker who set the parched mulch on fire in front of her building with an errant cigarette.
Reaching our Metro stop, Union Station, we’d descend into the rumbling cement cave by way of a narrow escalator and sometimes we’d get stuck behind squatty tourists who’d block the walking lane. Their wide back-ends obstructed our way like the Great Wall of China ” impenetrable and seemingly going on forever. We’d huff and puff silently. We’d bore holes with hot stares.
Underground, we’d dig for our Metro card and swipe it. It was slightly bent (because we sat on it), so we’d have to do it twice. Then, we’d trot in the semi-darkness to the lower level where we’d stand under the whitish-gray, cavernous dome, waiting for our train.
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We’d stare at tired people who’d pretend they weren’t staring back or who’d bury themselves in their leftover morning Express papers. We stared at the ceiling, a geometry lesson for seventh graders, with its square, cut-out design. We’d stare at the brown, pentagon-shaped tiles grouted together beneath our feet. And then we’d stare at the circular lights set into the strip of stone on the edge of the floor by the track. We’d wait for them to start blinking yellow as the destination board said the train was one minute away. We heard a rumble in the distance first, then two glowing orbs appeared in the darkness. The train shot out of the tunnel and slowly stopped in front of us.
The melodious Metro voice said, “Doors opening.”
We’d get on and sit by the door. Across from us, a well-groomed guy wearing tiny sunglasses, a crispy white dress shirt and a purple tie picked his nose as he listened to his iPod. Two blond women sat in front of us and chatted in Russian.
Fast forward a few years … We are glad that instead of spending hours everyday underground traveling to and from work and other activities, we get to drive through blowing snow. We even admire blowing snow. It’s white and fluffy. It doesn’t smell. We can at least see the light.
In the midst of all this nonsense, we need to give a quick shout-out to Charlie Lockwood, a Breckenridge native who was recently named to the Dean’s List at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass. We know that Charlie’s parents, Win and Susan, are way proud of you, Charlie, and we’re hoping that the rest of your academic tenure back East continues on the same high note. Simply put, you rock!
We out, braving the wind and snow, ever thankful for mountains, fresh air and bad weather. E-mail us at email@example.com.