A Metro Observed

Posted on Monday, Feb 22, 2016

It is amazing that with a large group of people often comes a larger sense of unease and damp quietness. I have seen this many places and the Metro is no exception which made me ask myself, why is it so quiet?  To gain understanding it is crucial to understand the environment as well.
On the Metro to D.C. at seven in morning it was quiet except for the occasional shifting train under my feet and a muffled intercom that makes me question if I am even on the correct train. The tunnel lights that flash by quickly disappear into the darkness left behind. There were over 50 human beings dressed in all kinds of attire, military uniforms with ranks I have only seen on those I’ve admired in the history books, business and congress men and women dawned in suits that I know cost more than my tuition, homeless people looking out the window enjoying the temporary warmth the collective humanity had created, and then me.

No one spoke but seemingly all were unified in a single solemn activity.  All heads bowed, as if in prayer, but intently concentrating on their hand held portals.  Those pervasive thin glazed boxes of dense technology they had checked 10 minutes prior but seem to need constant rechecking.  Others connected those boxes to wires with direct access to their brains via their ears. Those in the suits try to drift there sight away from the homeless so as to avoid being asked for money, while all seem hesitant to make eye contact with the high ranked patches. This was not a matter of coexisting, it is more cohabitation.

It was this group that was crammed into the aluminum sausage link riding on the rails early in the morning with not so much as a cough to break the silence. Yet, what the Metro does offer is something greater than any Starbucks line in Evans library could ever hope, it has immense diversity. This diversity of occupation, social status, and nationality is the result of vast military cooperation, congressmen and women from every state, and private sectors hiring, all of which feeds into one place, the Metro. I see that the reason it is so quiet on the metro is that our age is not speaking. As interns I view that we are at a perfect point in our lives to speak to whoever we want to in this environment. We are poor enough yet educated, we are old enough to live independently but young enough to claim naivety and would benefit greatly from those with more experience and life behind them. By getting past the awkward conversation starter there is no reason not to start a conversation. My final question to you is what is your reason not to break the silence? 
Matthew Murdoch
Department of Justice
Spring 2016 Washington D.C.