Thursday, May 14, 2015

Winter Commutes

I had hoped February would be like spring. February was not like spring. Which is fine; it’s not supposed to be, but I had hoped for a slightly warmer February. As I approached the last week of February I vacillated between going into the office and staying home to work. On Thursday my job sent out an alert telling us all to stay home and work so I felt more obligated to go into the office on Friday, even though the weather outside was negative C and only slightly above zero F. Sometimes I don’t know which temperature feels colder to me. I still occasionally get my weather in C as it makes more sense.

I want to live my life in C.

Or maybe I should live my life in K, with temperatures always in the hundreds.

Even with the cold I decided that I should hoof it and walk to the train and go to the office that Friday. The dog was not pleased to see me leave. He was very clear that I should stay at home and be cold with him.

5 minutes into my walk I sorely regretted my decision and started to agree with the dog, but at that point, I was committed. I was committed all the way to the train where, when I arrived on the platform I learned my train was running about 10 minutes late. I decided I might take my chances and stayed committed til I got on the train.

The train was running very late and I was thinking of running away, had already flagged the difficulties with commuting to the office. I was just about to turn around get off the platform to wind my freezing way home when suddenly the train pulls up. I decide to go for it.

I get on with everyone else. Find a seat. Sit down.

The train moves forward an inch.


The lights go off.


I know what is coming next and I really don’t feel like being stuck on this train in the middle of the tracks 20 miles from home on a Friday. I get up and move to the doors. The doors are closed and we are sealed in.


An announcement comes over the speakers. “We are experiencing some technical difficulties, but hope to be underway soon.”

The guy next to me suddenly loses it. Clearly he had been on the track waiting longer than I, and clearly he was not having any of it. The train did not move. The lights did not come back on. I got up again and went to the doors. Still closed.

I was starting to feel claustrophobic at this point and really wanted to be anywhere but on the train.

Another five minutes. Another announcement. “We are just having a mechanical problem. We will update you soon.”

I stood in the vestibule and waited and as a conductor came by I asked as politely as possible if I might get off the train. He sighed and announced that they would open the doors if anyone wanted to deboard, and I and quite a few others abandoned ship. I walked home in the freezing and swore to never leave again.

The dog, who was not amused when I left, was even less amused when I came back, but we kept each other warm until the evening.

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