Do We Stay or Do We Go Now? #WMATA

“Is this the Blue Line?” we wondered, my friend (also my neighbor) and I, Saturday night at Metro Center waiting for a train to Virginia to attend a friend’s housewarming.

The train itself just said Special. We’d been waiting for ten minutes. There was a Silver Line train pulling in when we’d arrived, and a few minutes later an Orange Line train. The board, where incoming trains are listed with their estimated time of arrival, said the next Blue Line to Franconia-Springfield was still eleven minutes away.

This was potentially the first Blue Line train.

Let’s go, we decided. Even it was Orange or Silver, we could get off at a later station and at least be a bit closer to our destination.

“Is this the Blue Line?” we asked a group of four college-aged kids already seated. Perhaps thinking we were tourists — despite the Maryland sweatshirt I was wearing, strongly implying that I’m a local — one of them proclaimed that if the train didn’t proceed to Arlington Cemetery after Rosslyn, we’d know it wasn’t Blue.

And we’d have to choose: get off and wait for the Blue Line train eleven minutes behind us, or risk that we were actually on an Orange or Silver Line train, and have to backtrack.

McPherson Square and Farragut North. No on board announcements.

My brain kicking into motion, I pulled up the Metro app on my phone as we pulled into Foggy Bottom. Opened the Rosslyn station. The only Blue Line train coming was headed in the opposite direction. Decision time was coming: jump off at Rosslyn? Or take a gamble?

And then: an announcement – “Next stop, Rosslyn, final transfer point to the Orange and Silver Lines.”

And the glorious realization – that announcement would only come on a Blue Line train! A special unmarked Blue Line train …

And our friend’s housewarming was amazing. She has the best cats ever. They’re like big fluffy pillows who say “Hello stranger! I will jump into your arms and rub my face all over your face forever and forever!” And then, because it took us an hour and fifteen minutes to go from out apartments to Woodley Park to Braddock Road to our friend’s place, we caught a cab home. I may have had a cat stuffed under my sweatshirt.