Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Suicides & Quakes

It's been a rather eventful Tuesday here in candie land. At the office we were in mid-holiday hell. My job involves producing advertising for a ginormous retailer and on this week we finalize the stuff that runs the day after thanksgiving - it's a HUGE deal for most retailers and we have to be perfect. Naturally there are lots of last minute changes, added approvals and media that looks like a badly edited kung-fu movie. And misspelled words - several of them. So it was a hellish day and I've been pretty much feeling sorry for myself and whining most of the afternoon.
The hellish day caused me to leave work late - naturally. I get to the BART station and just miss a train. I'm not one to run down a moving escalator to save myself the 5 minute wait for the next train. I have visions of falling on my face, breaking several teeth (that I've barely finished paying for) and having my hair get stuck in the mechanisms and getting ripped out by the roots. Yeah, I know, vivid imagination. So I walk to the end of the station because the blinking red sign says Daly City 10 can train. At the end of the station I'll probably get a seat and I can knit my way to Glen Park. So the blinking light says 1 minute til the train - for about 15 minutes. Now the station is packed - and no train in sight. Finally, a voice from above tells us that there is a medical emergency at the next station so trains are delayed. I can live with that - I've waited out medical emergencies before - maybe 15 minutes. I comtemplate taking out my knitting even though I'm not sitting but decide the station is too freaking crowded. Another 15 minutes and we're told the next station is actually closed and they'll update us when them can. I don't feel like waiting so I figure I can walk to Civic Center - it's 2 stations beyond where I'm at - and I've already walked 1/2 mile from my office - it's maybe another 1/2 a mile - no hills - still light outside - I can do it. So I walk - and when I get to the next station - the one with the medical emergency - I see news vans, police cars and the coroner's van. Yeah, that station won't be open for a while -so I keep walking and hope to see a cab online the way.
No cabs - and since I'm now in the seedier part of Market street, I walk fast - very fast. I finally get to Civic Center - and I'm thinking it can't be too bad - I've gone past the closed station. Yeah, I was wrong. Coming down the escalator there was a sea of humanity - wall to wall - shoulder to shoulder - there wasn't an inch for me to stand - and I didn't feel like teetering on the edge of the platform so that I could be the basis for a 2nd cororner's visit. So I headed up to the street hoping to see a cab. All I saw were drug dealers so back down the escalator. There were less people this time which told me trains were moving. The voice from above told us there were 15 minute delays - to which I replied - "Bullshit" as it'd been more than 90 minutes since I first set foot on BART. Trains were all running on the same track - so it was taking longer - each train that pulled up was so full of humanity that there was no way in hell any of the thousands standing next to me would get on. So it was a waiting game. I knew I had no control of the situation and neither did the voice from above so I decided to be silent and find something to lean up against. Lots of trains passed - too full - or empty and stopping one station short of my final destination. When a train finally arrived that I had a hope of getting on - a big, fat, ugly, ugly man decided to take a position directly in front of me and let several dozen people board the train - I tried to get around his massive girth but the sea of humanity would not part - and each time i said "excuse me" he said "that trains going to daly city" and I yelled "so am I". When the fat bastard finally got out of my way - the doors closed. I contemplated kicking him in the balls just to satisfiy my anger but figured it would probably be the closest he'd ever got to human contact in that region so I controlled my urge. I did wish him a long lasting case of the runs. So I waited, and waited and the voice from above kept reminding us that we could leave the station & go grab dinner. Although I was hungry, I wasn't in the mood for dinner with crack whores and drug dealers this particular evening. 30 minutes went by - and I'm texting my daughter trying to figure out which street car goes close to my house and maybe I'd be able to grab a cab from there. The voice from above kept promising trains and finally, Millbrae/SFO headlights came my way. The train was packed but standing another 30 minutes was nothing now. Almost 3 hours after I should have been home, I arrived home to discover the medical emergency was a suicide.
4 minutes after arriving home, we had a 5.6 earthquake.
I ran to the liquor store to buy lotto tickets.
I'm due.

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