I Rode the Entire L.A. Metro in a Single Day
Soon thereafter, though, the Expo Line, Metro Center to Culver, reveals the nastiest thing I've seen all day: a used Q-tip. Sitting right there on the seat. This is somehow grosser than the junkie who soils himself on the Red Line an hour or so later. What kind of a batshit lunatic drills out earwax on a train and leaves the cotton swab behind? ::shudder::
Evening rush hour starts. As I ride through downtown to Wilshire on the Purple and Red and back around, no one says a word for nearly two hours. The clientele looks a little more business-slick but not by much; it's still mostly worn-out workaday folks. Everyone stares at books, Nooks, Kindles and newspapers. I stare at the in-train advertising. "Protect Your Phone," demands one PSA, advocating concealing your phone deep in your pockets or bag. Metro wants you to be completely bored, apparently.
At roughly 8:40 p.m., I'm at the Red Line terminus in North Hollywood. A tiny man in an ill-fitting jacket is selling The Spark, a Socialist newspaper. We chat. He quotes Marx (Karl, not Harpo). I get bored quickly.
On the Orange Line, which I take back from Chatsworth, I notice three guys riding quietly in the back. They're bound for the Warner Center mall when one of them up and asks his friend, "Where's your mustache?"
"Dude, I'm on probation," he responds. "I can't do shit."
By roughly 10:30 p.m., I've turned into a complete misanthrope. Twelve hours ago, people fascinated me and scofflaws entertained me. "Yeah, break those rules! Play that music on speakers! Smoke that spliff! Eat that burger! Chew that gum!" Now, the slightly muted sound of a handheld video game drives me utterly bonkers. My one curmudgeonly comfort is that it sounds like the player is stuck on a difficult level. Take that, jerk.
By the time I hit Metro Center, it's nearly midnight, and I'm completely zonked. My ass is killing me. But, y'know, I did it. I rode the whole motherloving thing. Every line (OK, not you, Silver, sorry) and every station. In one day.
And I did learn something important. In 14 hours, not a single person or machine asked me to prove that I paid to be here. Seriously, not one legal entity checked my TAP Card. So. If you want to ride the Metro from Woodland Hills to Long Beach, you may not need to spend $5 on an all-day pass.
You just need to keep riding.