September 13, 2013, Washington, DC: I write blog posts as I ride the Metro and wait for the morning bus. Words come more quickly as I’m traveling through the heart of the city, both above ground and below, and I try to put them down on paper or my phone’s little yellow notepad before the rest of the day interferes. The movements of those around me jog my ideas as I observe the everyday beat of the city and people who travel through it.
This isn’t the glamorous setting I used to envision as the type of place a writer gets down to work. There is no solitude here, nor an antique desk with a story, nor a view of someplace peaceful, like a lake in the woods. The seats here are vinyl and orange, the carpet stained and torn, the view a blur of darkness in an underground tunnel. Still, it’s a good time to write, sometimes the only time. In transit, I don’t have all day to devote to this craft. I’m on deadline. My stop is approaching.
It’s nearing 7:30. Almost time for a hurried group of us to pour off this train, perhaps onto another, perhaps out of a silver turnstile and up a long escalator out of the station, rising up into a Washington day.