I see him every now and then, and if I could do it without being obvious, I would get a picture. Rip Van Winkle rides the orange line of the D.C. metro. No joke. He sits in the same corner of the second car to the end of the train in the direction of New Carrolton around 4.30 p.m. on weekdays. The best way to find him is to go to the Ballston Metro Station and find the grafitti on the short platform wall (the side that is in the direction of New Carrolton) that asks the questions “Who is John Galt?” When you board the train from that point you will find him immediately on your right in the corner seat.

I first started riding the metro (almost two years ago) his hair was shoulder length and his beard might have been deemed “trimmed.” Now his hair is longer than mine, and his beard is definantly of the Van Winkle variety.

The funny part of it all is that he can’t be much older than me, of course it is hard to tell with the varitable birds nest growing on his face, but there isn’t a streak of grey to be seen. He is such an odditiy in the stark black and whites of the normal commuter crowd. And from the looks of his clothes I don’t think he is homeless. So why the long hair? I am convinced that corner must be like that corner of the woods that Rip Van Winkle lost himself into a 100 year sleep.

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