It was chaotic at the D.C. train station. Due to a clog further north up the line, many passengers were crowded into a few waiting areas as messages bellowed throughout the Hall announcing delays after delays. As I had a long layover, I sat and observed for three hours – the noise and the chatter rose, people rushed around as platforms changes were displayed and pages for passengers to begin loading so trains could rush out to make other missed connections further down the line. Then finally the crowd diminished and disappeared and soon it was down to the train to Miami and the Piedmont south to North Carolina and then silence…
Waiting for my Boston train, I relished the lack of verbal assault. Then my eye caught sight of a blur behind a bank of seats. First I dismissed it as a trick of light from all the electronic billboards that constantly moved reminding us of all the things we could not live without. But there is was again, following the route for trash cans which unfortunately had just been emptied – a mouse. It was probably emboldened now that so many feet were out of the way, to ‘hoover’ its way around.
My eyes followed the mouse as it entered a trash can which from my side looked like it was totally enclosed. Wondering how she had entered, I circled the can and found there was a gap in the door where the lock was placed – just wide enough so the mouse could push her way in. Sitting down again, I watched as she circled the inside of the can several time, and I was concerned that though she could push her way in she might not be able to get out. So I folded a napkin, and quickly stuffed it into the gap so that she would have no trouble getting back out.
As I sat back down again, I looked around to see if anyone had who seen me? Would a security guard tap me on the shoulder? After all, I was sitting in the D.C. train station at 10:00 p.m. But that concern all vanished when I saw her make her way across the waiting room on an unknown mission. A mouse! A saved mouse! What is the world coming to?