Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Just Another Day, Commuting Adventure

Union Station, November 10th
On my way to Q’s second IEP battle, I thought I would have brunch with a friend and run some errands (more on that later) in downtown Los Angeles, traveling by train, so I also had a lot of work with me. 

As it turns out, that was a key move because at the second stop the conductor informed us that there had been “an incident.” She went on to say “if you are a regular, you know that means we’ll be here for a while.”

Incident, in this case, means someone had been struck by a train, probably due to jumping in front of it.  When the train hits something, it is a collision, but when someone/something hits the train, it’s an incident.

I was clear that it was most likely suicide that caused this delay.  However, I found myself making up stories that would make it an accident.  It is not unheard of for someone with headphones on to not hear a train coming down the track.  My new friend, Max, from Holland looked at me incredulously, but then he played along.  He suggested that it was odd that the train only sounded its horn when it was very close to a crossing.

The sign on the platform, that I got to stare at for an hour, initially reported the incident as a person hit struck by the train.  Later it was strictly referred to as “incident” perhaps in deference to the deceased. 

We waited.  Max and I chatted.  For some reason, all the folks on the train thought that I had some secret answers, and asked me what was happening, how long we might be there, etc.  People who were trying to get to the airport called a taxi.  The conductor made an announcement looking for a third person to share the taxi.  Some people called others to get picked up.  Some people changed plans and went back to their cars. 

We were stuck, first in Moorpark for an hour and then in Simi Valley for another.  No buses to take, no people to call.  The meeting I was going to wouldn’t start until 2:30pm and we would be there in plenty of time.

Max asked me if he could get a refund. I laughed.

I fretted some for the new forever family I had met on the platform in Oxnard.  They were on their way to Legoland to celebrate the adoption.  They even invited me to come along.  They seemed in good spirits as I departed the train in Los Angeles. 

I had just enough time to rush to Grand Central Market for a pastrami sandwich.  I don’t know if it was an off day for them, or if I was just not in the right mood, but it was not as tasty as the first time.

Brunch and errands would have to wait as I prepared for battle…

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