Everyone has youthful dalliances.
Two lifetimes ago or so, I lived in Washington, D.C., and I met this young woman at the law office where I worked. She was quite the pretty thing, and me, having come off of one of the more ridiculous relationships of my life, was ripe for the rebound. She was a legal assistant, and, as it turned out, she rode the same exact same Metro line that I did for a short distance every evening. We became friends, I think, because I was relentless in my pursuit. Only after a friendly happy hour did I discover that she was already engaged to someone else. I had already lost.
Somehow, though, along the way, I decided that I would give myself thirty days to change her mind, then I would move across the country and start my life over again from scratch. I have no idea how I did this, but somehow I talked her into what I thought would be a tiny, tiny affair; I had thirty days to change her mind about her live-in boyfriend. Tiny, because we could never really, truly be together, we figured. I could never go to her house, she probably could never visit mine.
Thus, a Commuter Affair.
Others of you our there have perhaps had these, and perhaps not. But we would sit together on the Metro, speaking in hushed tones, laughing at one another’s jokes, acting largely like a couple, missing our stops, looking longingly at luxury hotels along the way, and riding to the legendary End-Of-The-Line. Then we’d double back, separate, and agree to meet, again, at the same place at the same time tomorrow.
But everything was sped up; after two weeks, the affair was taking other turns. Quickly, things were getting more serious. We had begun getting off and walking into those pricey hotels, not quite having the gumption to buy a room. She had begun lying at home, saying that she had to work weekend, and instead we would sneak into Pentagon City or downtown and spend time together. The Commuter Affair had gone Mainstream.
On 29th day, she came to my home for wine and dinner. I was out of time, but her mind was not made up. I was inconsolable. I begged her to change her mind.
She left anyway.
The next day, I left Washington and haven’t returned, unless you count a quick and miserable stop in Dulles Airport. Later, I heard a rumor that she was at the bus stop just shortly after I left, but for me now that sounds too much like a Nora Ephron film. Not that I dislike her stuff.
Personally, I don’t count the layover at Dulles as a real visit back to The District, the location of my one, my only, Commuter Affair. Why should I?
Dulles has no Metro Stop.