Thursday was picture day at work, and I bothered to curl my hair. Normally I'm a basic ponytail kind of girl, but when one's image will end up on the company website, one wants to make a bit of an effort.
But I shouldn't have bothered, as it turned out, because the Red Line -- even on a good day, the arch-enemy of anyone aspiring to be punctual -- was single-tracking between several of its busiest stops during the morning rush. So instead of making a quick and easy transfer at Gallery Place-Chinatown and riding two stops to Farragut North, I found myself channeling the noble sardine on an increasingly packed platform, "hmph!"-ing and aggressively staring down the arrivals board with everyone else. But after about ten minutes and with no train even listed on the board, I realized that I could probably walk to work in the same amount of time it would take to wait for a train with room for me.
So I glibly set off, beginning my journey at 9th & G Sts NW. My sunny, "what-ho, world!" attitude was significantly diminished after about 6 blocks, when I realized that I was sweaty and flushed, and my hair was the visual definition of frizzy.
I was over it by the time I hit McPherson Square, the locale of my second job out of college, the one where I went on lots of travel and made some awesome friendships and ended up a bit heart broken, but also (hopefully) a bit wiser. I can't walk by that square without feeling equally excited and paranoid; excited at the thought of running into someone I know, and paranoid about...running into someone I know! Sure enough, I ran into someone I knew. I wasn't sure if he would remember me, but he stopped, pulled out his earbuds, and smiled wide. We caught up for a few minutes and were happy for each other; we're both in better situations than we were back then. We parted, and I smiled because I realized that it's actually really nice to suddenly have worked in one city long enough that you know a few of the faces in the crowd and have even a brief shared history with them.
That was a nice thought to muse over as my aching feet carried me the remaining 9 blocks to 20th & M. I tied my unruly mane back into the inevitable ponytail and had my picture taken. It will go up on the website of my new company, along with all the faces of the people I'm starting to get to know, the people who will be characters in the DuPont Circle chapter of my life in DC.