I found a seat in the very back of a 2-car train on my way home today. At the next stop, University Street, the door opened, people exited, people boarded, as usual. The bell sounded, and the lights flashed, as the doors started to close.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw two figures running down the platform. A young man jumped (literally) into the train. At the moment, it reminded me of Indiana Jones. Now that I write this post, I’m thinking more of a Depression-era hobo hopping a freight train. The doors closed, inches behind him. His friend was still on the platform.
The guy who made it into the train raised his hands to his friend, in a gesture like, “What do we do now?” – or maybe “Why didn’t you jump?” He started pounding on the “Open Door” button. (By the way, those don’t work unless they’re lit.) As the train started moving, the young man starting pacing rapidly around the door area. He seemed to be considering his options. He seemed pretty angry. I was honestly afraid of what he might do next.
Someone else in the train said to him, “Your friend’s only six minutes behind you.” The train-jumper looked at him. The other guy added, “The train runs every six minutes.” That seemed to calm him down a bit.
Still, I kept my distance from him when he exited at Capitol Hill Station.
Never run for a light rail train, especially if you’re traveling with someone else.