For a big part of the morning, one woman rides up and down the elevators in D.C. Superior Court. Sometimes she’s careful to plot her course, pacing the banks of elevators before choosing the right one. She will look up and consider the various floors, the various possibilities. Other times, she just darts inside.
The woman doesn’t know where to go. Volunteer greeters stand near each elevator bank on every floor. They are extremely friendly despite the growing crowds, despite the setting. Close to the main entrance, the bright information desk is also open.
The woman sees all this and then doesn’t. She is wearing an old light gray coat stained from knee to waist and soiled at the cuffs of her sleeves. Her blond hair is greasy. Her blue eyes are empty. She smells bad.
By the second-floor elevators, she says she is here because Amtrak banned her from ever using its trains. She is here because she would like to ride Amtrak again.
“If you killed the right one, you could interview me,” she says.
She turns back to toward the elevators. “There’s too many courtrooms,” she says. She has no paper telling her where to go. She’s not sure what she’s supposed to do. The information desk looks impossible.
“It’s just too crowded,” she says. “I may have to go to the courthouse to find out where to go.”
At 9:45 a.m., she slips back inside an elevator and disappears.