Monday, October 23, 2006

The Drunk Train

I've boasted before of being on the last train back to Virginia but in fact I was probably a good one or two trains ahead of the last one. But this past Saturday (or very early Sunday morning, depending on how you look at it) I truly was on the last one. I was out with a friend in Adams Morgan that night and while tucked away on a couch at Tryst, I suddenly realized what time it was and that we had to get back to the Metro ASAP lest we be at the mercy of the DC cab driver.

We got to the Dupont Circle station with only four minutes to spare before the next red line train, which would only take me as far as Metro Center. I wasn't even sure if there would be one waiting there to take me back to Crystal City. But as I stepped onto the train and waved goodbye to my friend on the opposite platform, I realized that I had stepped into a different world.

The Drunk TrainNow my time on the Metro is typically spent in either quiet solitude reading or conversing with my friends at a subdued volume level. By contrast, this train had the noise level of a rock concert. Just as many people were standing as were sitting, each yelling to be overhead above the din. Some were even doing shots which got whoops of encouragement and rounds of applause from the other passengers. I could not believe my eyes as I had finally arrived at the place I'd only heard about in legend: The Drunk Train.

Like freedom, The Drunk Train is more of an idea than an actual thing. It almost always inhabits the last train of the night and moves from line to line depending on where the crowd goes. Fortunately, the majority of them were heading towards Virginia and so at Metro Center we all got onto the orange line to continue the debauchery. The thick wall that city dwellers typically erect around themselves during normal hours had been breached by booze making conversation plentiful and enjoyable.

I didn't get back to my apartment until almost 3:30am thanks to delays and transfers but quite honestly I didn't care. I had such a great time just talking to people and getting to know them that I could definitely see myself doing it again. The Drunk Train is something that everybody should do at least once in their lifetime.

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