Humans of the St. Louis Metro Blue Line

| Senior Scene Editor

“Sonder” is a made-up word from John Koenig’s “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.” It puts a word to the feeling where you realize everyone around you has incredibly complex lives, feelings and stories. I feel sonder most strongly on the metro — everyone going to the same places at the same times, but for vastly different reasons, all thinking vastly different things. The best way to uncover these reasons and thoughts is to talk to people, which, while maybe a little socially awkward, reveals what we already know but often forget — that the feeling of sonder is, in fact, a tangible reality. Here are a few snippets of stories from people who were riding the MetroLink Blue Line on Saturday afternoon. Photos are by Student Life photographer Morad Suliman. 

A person with big round glasses, long dark hair and a light blue face mask wears a gray vest as the MetroLink is visible in the background.Skinker, Gladis Manzira

“I’m getting off at Cortex… because, well, I want to get an Acai bowl.” 

Grand, David Abrey

DA: I’m going to the end of the line. Fairview heights? I work for a light rail company in the UK. I do this wherever I go, whatever city I go to, I just go to the end of the line, check it out. 

Olivia Poolos: What are you rating this metro experience? 

DA: Out of ten? So far I give it a good solid eight. But I actually haven’t eaten yet. I’m quite hungry.

A person wearing a blue and navy jacket sits on red seats on the Metro while wearing a dark blue mask. It is cloudy outside and there is a building out the window.OP: What would you eat if you could eat anything? 

DA: Fish and chips. But that’s not going to happen.

OP: That’s very British of you. And mushy peas?

DA:  Mushy peas! Yeah. Well, that’s more the north of England. I’m from the south.

8th and Pine, Harrese Wilson

A person wearing a pink jacket with long pink hair sits next to two young girls who wear pink jackets. The red metal of the MetroLink seats is in front of their faces.“I just got married, and I got a baby on the way, so I’m trying to move, and I’m trying to get a house. My kids were in the wedding. They were crying afterwards. I was crying as well, especially walking down the aisle. I had a big, white gorgeous dress.” 

Cortex, David Kicklighter

A man with a large red beard wears a white mask, a dark fleece and a blue St. Louis Blues hat. “My youngest brother got married yesterday. I’ve got three brothers. I’m the oldest. I was expected to do everything right and set the standard. All the punishment and discipline was practiced on me first, so by the time it got down to my youngest brother, my parents were like ‘oh, that’s it, we’re done.’” 

“We always had each other. My father was military, so we just moved around a lot. Holidays, vacations… it was just us. When we get together, we hang out and have too much of a good time. We’re all different but we get along and we always just kind of have each other no matter what.” 

Forest Park-DeBaliviere, Dominic Thedford

“Yesterday, for example, we had a lady that overdosed. I went home and told my girlfriend that story. If it was a good day, I would tell her how my day went. If it was a bad day I tell her how my day went.” 

A man with a wraparound moustache wears a bright yellow security guard's jacket on the platform of a MetroLink station.“Does it impact me? No. I come from that environment, so it’s pretty much normal to me. It doesn’t bother me.” 

“How often does it happen? I’ve been working Metro for a year, so… we’ve had about five overdoses since I’ve been here.” 

See more similar photo essays from the Student Life staff:

From behind the plexiglass: The people who make up the Bear’s Den

The people left: Who remains on the Danforth Campus

In pictures: The first few days as WU freshmen transition to college life


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