What makes Beacon Hill Station different from others on the Link line? You can't really see the train platforms until the very last moment, the moment after the elevator finally opens its slow doors and you look to the right or left, depending on your destination. If empty, you casually walk to the platform and wait. If not, if a train is right there, you make a dash for the open but always-about-to-close doors. Sometimes you make it; sometimes you don't. Because this situation can only happen here, 160 feet below South Lander Street, and no where else in the city, it presents a great opportunity for a simple scientific project: The categorization of types of train dashers in Seattle.
Not all dashers are the same. Some dash, miss, and express great frustration. Some dash, miss, and explode with gorilla-like rage—window-thumping the closed doors. Some dash, miss, and are pretty cool about it (expressing a normal amount of frustration). Some run, miss, and look as if they have come across another piece of evidence to add to his/her growing belief that the world really does hate them more than the rest of humanity. I have noticed that men almost never give up the dash (reaching the doors, hitting them, yelling at the moving train to stop and let them in—which it never does), and women tend to see things more realistically, tend to know the game is up before even reaching the train. But my sample size is too small to be meaningful. It will take time and commitment for me to see the universal laws operating behind this new creature of a new niche: the Seattle train dasher.