A snowy chase for the Q


Photo by Anna Xu

Anna Xu

“Yes, this is the Q,” a young eyed, red lipped, senior lady with a bright red and gold gown motions back.
With darting feet and eyes, I search for the tail. I smile to a friend, then a teacher, then another friend, all the while anxiously wondering where is the end? Up the stairs, down the hallway, through a loop, yet the line of red faced moviegoers in the Jesse Auditorium lobby seems to never stop. Is this still my small town, Columbia, Missouri I wonder in daze?
Finally, I attach myself to the tip end, like a unit dropping on a conveyor belt. In front of me is a fellow high school journalist, and I quickly smile and say “hi.” Moments into our conversation, it’s evident something is wrong. I’m at the wrong movie. Clearly the freezing temperatures hadn’t only disabled my fingers, but my brain as well.

My brother lets out an exasperated sign, “oh my god Anna, the Missouri Theater is a 10 minute walk.”

We quickly bound through the loop, down the hallway, and down the stairs to the main lobby and out the door, weaving through bulky jackets like annoying freshmen late to class. We plow down the slushy sidewalks, my light brown boots staining to a miserable murk. Breathlessly, I halt in front of a stern looking queen who hands me the 142 Q number, which my trembling hands quickly shove into my fuzzy pockets. Without wasted words, she tells me to wait in the back alley in 20 minutes.
As I turn to leave, I catch my panting reflection in the door. Even with the black filter, my face is blotchy pink and strands of black hair are streaking and sticking crazily to my icy cheeks. Sadly, the frenzy of being late isn’t new to me. But at least this time my numb toe dash was fulfilled by an unforgettable movie, ‘Midnight Traveler,’ and the healing powers of a sugary hot chocolate.
What was your experience with the Q system? Let us know in the comments below!