This morning, I was a little early for the 7:17.
That’s not really the case. I was actually a significant amount late for the 6:51. But let’s think more positively for a second.
Since I was a little early, I stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts to buy myself a bit of breakfast. I realized I was going to be short a few quarters for parking, so I asked for my dollar bill to be magically transformed into four quarters. She was nice enough to comply, and I left the store with orange juice, an egg and cheese bagel sandwich, and seven quarters.
Seven quarters does not equal two dollars. I wondered what I would do about it. I decided not to panic, and drove off to the station. When I got there, I did in fact find a rogue quarter in the bottom of my bag, and was thus saved from having to ask the deli owner for some quarters when I have no need to purchase anything from him.
I paid the parking box, it spit me a ticket, and I went back to my car to keep warm. It was cold out this morning! As I munched on my sandwich, I saw the lights flashing and heard the dinging of an approaching train. I decided, however, that I would stay in my car to the last possible second, because, as I said, it was cold out this morning! Good thing I did that, too, because it was in fact an out-bound train that came through.
That’s when I noticed the red scrolling text was different than normal. Rather than telling me that “All trains are running on or near schedule” it was telling me that my train was running 5 to 10 minutes late due to “mechanical difficulties.” It did eventually come, and I did wait to the last second to bolt over to the train just as it came to a stop.
Then I remembered why I don’t take the 7:17. It was crammed full of people. Oh well, no seat for me. Not even after Malden, where a bunch of people got off. One “gentleman” (and I use that term loosely) actually put his bag on the seat next to him, preventing me from sitting. Jerk!
As we approached Boston, people started their retarded “ooh! I should get up and move to the doors so I can get out faster!” nonsense. Which just caused me to have to move. And I was really concentrating on my Mario game!
With the train being late, however, that meant the station was overwhelmed. Three packed commuter trains emptied at once, and due to the construction at North Station, we all had to filter through two doors. I started to lose it then.
Down the stairs, out the door, in the door, down the escalator. And, of course, there were two ladies insistent on standing next to each other, thus preventing those of us who prefer to walk the escalator from doing so. I was losing it even more.
Through the Charlie Gates, down another escalator (different people, same idiocy of blocking the path), and there’s a Green Line car. I should have known to avoid that car when I heard both drivers yelling out, “This is a Cleveland Circle train!” because, you see, the signs weren’t working.
The trolley was full, which normally bothers me a little bit, but I can live with it because I’m just not on it for that long. But at every station, we waited for what seemed like an eternity before taking off again. At Park, I saw a T inspector walking along the side of the trolley looking for… something…
When we finally reached Arlington, I was in full freak-out mode. I’m lucky I was getting enough oxygen to get off the trolley. That is, if the doors would open. Why won’t the doors open? Then I realized what was wrong. I walked, pushed, and shoved, along with my fellow commuters, to the front of the train. As I got off, the driver yelled out, “No rear doors. Use the front doors. No rear doors.”
Mechanical difficulties indeed.
I kept trying to breathe as I exited the station through the excessively long tunnel. I finally got up to the surface, and breathed real oxygen. I do not like enclosed spaces, especially those filled with a crowd of people. I took deep breaths and walked slowly. That is, until I realized that it was cold out this morning!
So I ran into the office.