Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Chance Meeting on the Road

I was still thinking about Reya's post on chance as I headed out this morning on my way to Washington Hospital Center for today's fun and games. Just out of my neighborhood I pulled up behind a little dark blue Toyota with a "UMD New Jersey" sticker on the back window. I happen to notice all sorts of words on cars and thought this an odd combination. I seemed glued to this car as I headed towards DC.

As I approached the Pentagon in heavy rush hour traffic, I took my usual detour towards Pentagon City and back onto the carpool lanes, which are open at that point, parting ways with the little blue car. Oddly enough as I got on the carpool lanes, I was once again immediately behind the Toyota. So much for my time-saving detour.

I started to realize the driver of the blue car knew the route well, always choosing the best lane to be in and continuing to take the same path I was following. She even got off the SW Freeway to take the tunnel under the Capitol that eventually leads out to New York Avenue and then North Capitol Street.

We stayed together until just before WHC when she turned left. I found myself moving over a lane to get a glimpse of this person who had taken the same exact 15-mile trip that I had taken this morning. Who was she? Was she a nurse at Children's Hospital perhaps? Did her work day start at 9:30, the same time as my appointment in the lab at WHC?

I wondered if I would ever see her again since she emerged initially so close to my house.

Do you ever wonder about the many drivers you pass each day on the way to work? Do you ever think about why they are traveling with you at the same time of day?


Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I used to wonder that on the subway, bus and streetcar in the city, but now, I live1/4 mile from my schol so don't have long to ponder except if I get coffee at Tim Hortons first!

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Quentin said...

I often catch myself trying to "place" the license plate -- out driving and recognizing the plate and wondering where I've seen it before. Usually it's one of the cars parked along my bike route to work.
I wonder if we'd all be better drivers if our license plate was a likeness of our face.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to wonder as I drove up I-395 every morning, especially when I laid on the horn.

"I hope that's not someone I know!" I'd think, far too late.

Now, I often seem the same faces on the Metro. One of these days, we might actually talk. That's one great thing about the Metro.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- You probably catch a few "regulars" every time you stop for coffee.

Quentin -- What a concept: putting our mugs on our license plates. This presumes of course that only one person drives the car. Would this imply that if you changed your hair color you would have to get a new license plate?!

Kristin -- Most people are so cautious about talking to strangers in public places like the Metro. I wonder when and how we learn to ignore others?

4:46 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

My thoughts of drivers are usually less than complimentary - doubly so if they are poor drivers.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't say that I do, even though I travel the same route everyday, I don't see the same people everyday.

2:18 PM  

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