It’s been a while since I’ve been on the metro. I walk to work, take a shuttle. So I was worried about my smartrip card having a positive balance. In my bag, a laptop hard drive for my soon-to-be-functional laptop sat, wrapped in anti-static plastic and bubble wrap. The gates let me in without beeping, so that was good enough for me.

The metro’s air was cool, stale, slightly damp. Probably a low oxygen content, on purpose. Keeps people drowsy, subjugated.

I catch a train and take the first seat available. Riding backwards isn’t my favorite, but it’s only two stops.

Across from me, a woman sits down, separated from me by two sheets of clear plexiglass flanking the door. Her head barely moves with the subtle side to side rocking of the train car.

With her sunglasses on, I can’t tell if she is awake or asleep.

For that matter, am I awake? Am I dreaming?

How could I know for sure, either way?

I take a look at the “new” metro car with its Modern day colors and 1970s fabrics.

It’s like somebody did a shoddy paint job and added LEDs, like some sort of half ass casemod.