One of my biggest public transportation fears is of being stranded on the Metro when I have to use a restroom. When I lived in Glenmont in Fall 2007 (so long ago!), I lived in anxious anticipation of this scenario coming true, especially because I have a child-like bladder (a.k.a. I have to go every 20 minutes); luckily for me, it's never come to fruition.
Until last night. On the way home from Maryland, my greatest Metro fear came true. I actually had to get off the train at Union Station to find someplace to relieve myself. This is how it went my 16-minute adventure went down from there:
- I run off the train & note that I have 16 minutes until the next one comes, which means I've got very little time to accomplish my relief goal before missing another train - very late at night.
- Literally running, I enter the almost-empty (& fully creepy) Union Station food court, where I am beyond dismayed to discover that the doors leading to the hallway where the bathrooms reside are closed. The sign reads, "Bathrooms Closed. Additional restrooms at Gate G." I haven't the foggiest where Gate G is, but it sounds far: I ain't got the time, & I sure ain't got the control.
- As I prepare to test out the truthfulness of the sign, a girl bursts out from behind said closed doors, laughing, & yells, "Do not go in there! I mean it! Don't go in there!" and runs away.
- I go in there.
- Detecting the sound of running water, I notice that a guy immediately to the right of the doors is peeing on the wall outside the locked men's restroom. Disgusted, I ignore him & keep running down the hall.
- As I enter a cul-se-sac at the hallway's end, I am shocked to discover at least six guys peeing on the wall outside the locked women's restroom.
- I try the restroom door anyway. It's locked.
- Feeling like I just walked into some horrifying fetish sex scene, I flee the hallway & don't stop running until I get to the movie theater.
- I beg a women who doesn't appear to work for the theater (?!) to let me use the restroom. She agrees (probably because she don't work there), & I take care of business.
- Upon exiting, I thank the woman & turn to a security guard who's hanging out on a folding chair. "Are you the security guard for this theater or for the whole food court?" I ask him. He's the former.
- Regardless, he's as horrified by the story of men peeing the walls as I am & thus accompanies me down the hall & we part ways at the bathroom hallway, where he bravely makes his way into the urine-tainted corridor.
- I run back to the Metro. I have six minutes to spare, most of which are spent recounting my terrible story to the friend who's waiting on me.
Moral of the story: The further the distance, the fewer the beers I should drink.