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20 December 2009 @ 12:50 am
a two-fisted tale of commuting  
Ducked out of work at five. The city was the most abandoned I had ever seen it, even compared to like three in the morning on a regular weeknight. Few to no pedestrians, even fewer cars, and eerily quiet, but eerily bright. The walk up to Foggy Bottom only takes forty minutes, which includes a stop for treats for M. Not shabby.

The Leaving DC Inventory:
* Taxis spotted: zero. Pizza delivery cars spotted: two.
* Cars I offered to help push so they could get moving: one.
* Cars that were actually trying to park, despite my kind offer: one.
* Cases of National Bohemian being carried by fellow pedestrians: one.
* Minutes spent waiting for trains to get me stateside: twenty-eight.

So, there I was. Medical Center, the end of the Red Line when they stop running above-ground trains on the Metro. Turns out having snow pile up higher than the third rail is "bad." It's about 6:45, and technically, I don't know how I am getting home. Call the house, they're still in the dunes. Call every cab company I have a number for, and no, all of them report they have no cabs available.

Now, I had done my homework in case this turned out to be, uh, the case. So I point myself north and start hiking. I've never actually walked from Medical Center to my house before (just shy of White Flint Mall) but it's only 3-4 miles, totally possible, and something may turn up on the way.

The snow is kind of annoying. Powdery and loose, it tends to slide a little when you put your weight on it, so it feels like your ankles are always adjusting. But it's not as cold as you'd think, and it's nice and bright, what with all the white stuff reflecting all around yah.

I'm over a mile up the Pike when a cab going in the other direction slows down. The driver calls out in his African accent, asking where I was headed. I said the other way, he motioned me in. He said he had gotten a call to pick up someone back at Medical Center, but was regretting coming out, but he'd pick them up and take me back on the way. Golden!

We slog into the parking lot, and no one there. Eventually some other dude, an older Chinese gentleman asks if the cab is available. Cabbie brings him on, he's headed to Twinbrook, so I'd be on the way. We wait around for anyone else for a few minutes, and failing that, head out.

And by that I mean, me and my fellow passenger helping push the cab up the hill to get moving.

Slow drive up the road, fishtailing all the way. I begin to grasp that I might not be able the get out of the house tomorrow, which means I might not get to pick up Z., which is uncool. Getting to see her was one of the reasons I was fighting to get home tonight. Feh.

I have the cab driver drop me off on Rockville Pike. Thank him profusely. Two younger ladies hail the cab, as they were about to hike up to 7-11 for cigarettes. He takes them on too, heh. My neighborhood was pretty much unplowed. Ugh. Some snow up to my knees. Having been notified ahead of time, I'm still happy to see the snow canyon M. dug for me most of the way down the street, making that last hill much easier than it would have been. M. greets me at the door and listens patiently to me yamer about this epic voyage.

In the end, it took just about three hours to get home.

turbogrrlturbogrrl on December 20th, 2009 06:00 am (UTC)
I am glad you are home safe.
Andycastironskillet on December 20th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
Great story!
salami_salome: namastesalami_salome on December 20th, 2009 06:59 am (UTC)
Also, Scylla and Charybdis! No, but srsly, so glad you're ok.
Kier, the Searcher: yakkoamerican_arcane on December 20th, 2009 07:22 am (UTC)
It helps greatly that you had specific motivation for getting home. (I probably would have just ended up somewhere in DC proper crashing with friends or something.)

Glad you made it and had some help along the way.
Alexdevolutionary on December 20th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
Good stuff, especially hooray for that cabbie.
lizardelizardaa on December 20th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
Ditto! That cabbie sounds pretty awesome!
PMMJ: Top Dollarcheetahmaster on December 20th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
I made sure to get his personal card, so I could send him a better tip later.
Tales from a suburban touristasimplelife on December 20th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
Glad you are home safe and sound. Having lived through some epic snowstorms (and back when I was a youngun' the killer ice storm of '98) I know what a city-stopping pain in the ass they can be.

I hope it clears soon!
UU Momuu_mom on December 20th, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
Great story! Good thing you're in pretty good shape. Were you able to pick up Z.?
(Deleted comment)
whiskyroseswhiskyroses on December 21st, 2009 03:24 am (UTC)
Jenexamorata on December 21st, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Dang! I'm glad all your good efforts were rewarded and that you got home safely!