End of the Line
So I've been meaning to do the Fairfax Travel Guide for everyone, after my week at George Mason.
Firstly, let me say the group running the First Light Festival for TFA was wonderful, and couldn't possibly be a lovelier bunch. The slightly bizarre moments in our week spent out yonder had nothing to do with them, all to do with some version of Jackie-Shirley karma that we must have stirred up. We had indeed encouraged them to put us together on a project so that we would be metro and bussing it out there together. This meant we weren't alone when passing through the mysterious land of Dunn Loring. It also meant, however, that our combined energies opened up a door to another dimension and shot us through before we knew what had happened. (Many moons ago DCeiver had the best post ever about the land of Dunn Loring. Indeed, I thought of the magical sleeping village every time we passed by the station.) But no! We were headed to further lands. We were going to the end of the line, the Vienna Station. We were going where few DC dwellers have gone before. We were going to ... Fairfax.
A train jumped the tracks on the orange line. We do not know this at first though, we only know that our train is holding in Metro Center. We switch to another car and both recognize Gwenergy from behind--her puckish pigtails give her away. We talk G's ear off as she frets about risking missing an audition. After about 10 minutes she heads above ground to get a cab, and we soldier on. The train starts up again and we think we are in the clear. When we hit Rosslyn, we exit to switch to the orange from the blue. There we realize that they are evacuating the train. It is impossible to go beyond Ballston. We head to where the Charlie Brown intercom "Wha-Wha" voice tells us to pick up a shuttle. The entire state of Virginia is waiting for the shuttle. We get scared. Jackie's stage manager friend emerges from the station. She tells us about a bus we can take. We plan to do this but first I have to get cash. And dinner. Quickly. I buy an odd combination of food at a stand called the "Tummy Station". Then we see that there is a storefront dedicated completely to commuter information. We go in and ask the young man about getting to Fairfax. His eyes widen. Jackie calls the theater. They tell us to take a cab, we'll get reimbursed. The commuter store man predicts it will cost $70. It is an expensive first day getting to George Mason. It does not cost $70, it does cost $45, and we arrive at rehearsal about an hour late. Because she is afraid we might never come back after this first day, the production manager gives us a ride to the Pentagon City metro at the end of the day. We are content. We are in Arlington. We are nearly home.
We hold our breath at Metro Center, but everything seems fine on the orange line. Indeed we make it to Vienna with 45 minutes before our rehearsal, and set out for the "CUE" bus everyone has told us to take to the campus. But alas, there are three CUE busses. Green 1, Gold 1, and Gold 2. We ask several people which one goes to GMU. Apparently they all do, but one of them is the fastest. And one of them has just pulled in to the lot. It is not the "fast one" but it is here, and it is hot, so we get on it. We wait a bit, and pull out with thirty minutes to get to the rehearsal. It takes 45. At one point, in our tour of the greater Fairfax area I turn to Jackie and say, "Look that way. It's a appears to be a coal mine." Indeed, we have headed for George Mason with a stop off in West Virginia. That night, we are 15 minutes late. You all want to hire us again, don't you?
(To be continued. Tomorrow, the Secret Shuttle Driver and shady dealings. Stay tuned.)