Friday, November 18, 2011


I have in the past made much of the fact that it takes me about two hours to get to school in the morning.  But did you know it sometimes takes two hours to go halfway across the Salt Lake Valley?

Today, I got off work.  This happens most days that I work.  Unless I work past midnight; then I technically get off work the next day.  But that hasn't happened in years.  I don't think . . .

Anyway, as I got off work, due to circumstances that are innocuous but that I don't care to describe here, I found myself on the corner of 200 South and 500 East in Salt Lake.  I was planning to catch the 205.

Then the 205 didn't come, and it didn't come.  And then it didn't come some more.  Then the 2 came.  I'm not dumb.  It was cold.  The 2 was warm.  I got on.  I thought to myself, self, you can take the 2 to the University Hospital!  The Red Line goes to the University Hospital!  You can catch the Red Line home!  You're so smart.

Except that I've never been to the University Hospital on a train before.

It may shock, and flabbergast, and flummox, and cause palpitations in, some of you to learn that I have not, actually, ridden all of TRAX.  It's true.  I haven't.  I haven't ridden the part in between the Stadium Station and the Medical Center.  This is, I suppose, not too surprising, given my current university affiliation.  For better or worse, I haven't.  So I was going to today.  I was even going to blog about it -- about how I had now finally ridden all of TRAX.  I was hoping for supportive comments.

Then I got off the 2 at the University Medical Center and realized I had no idea whatsoever where the train stopped.  Hm.  I wandered around for a while, but, getting nowhere, I walked into the hospital and asked for directions.  The hospital turned out to be surprisingly unhelpful.  So I wandered around some more.  Then I thought to myself, self, you are stupid.  Next time you shouldn't make such rash decisions without consulting me first.  Then I told myself that I was being too existential and to stop talking.  Especially since by then it was snowing, and I really needed to get home.

So I caved.  I caught the 2 back to University Street and walked the three blocks down to the Stadium TRAX Station, because I do know where the Stadium Station is.  Sure enough, there it was.  There may have also been a football game going on -- the stadium lights made the snow look pretty.  But as I don't really care about Utah football, I'll just have to wonder what was really going on.

As I was waiting to cross the street to enter the TRAX station, the train came.  If you have never had this feeling, you haven't truly lived.  I had it rather poignantly at this moment.

The light changed, and the train hadn't left.  What the heck.  I ran for it.  Oh, how I ran.  The train -- and I have no idea why this is -- didn't leave.  I actually caught it.

As I gained firm footing on the floor of the train car, just before it departed said Stadium TRAX Station, I suddenly realized that I had about a quarter-inch of fluffy snow still perched on top of the umbrella I held in my left hand.  And by "I realized," I mean that someone pointed it out to me.  At that point it was too late to do anything about it, so when we got to 900 East I opened the door, leaned the umbrella out, and shook it off.  I can only imagine what someone witnessing it from the outside would have thought.

Between Library and Courthouse I called commutergirl to inform her I was not dead.  The conversation was a bit touch-and-go.

I got off the phone with her and realized that the train hadn't moved during the entire 3:22 phone call.  And by "I . . . realized," I mean that the same someone from two paragraphs ago pointed it out to me.  All we heard was that there was an "incident."  I didn't hear the nightly news indicting UTA again tonight, so apparently it didn't involve a train.  Or maybe it did, and they're still just working up a good indictment.  It's one of the many things I don't know.

Eventually, the train did start moving again, though by the time we reached 3900 South there was no 39 for 28 more minutes.  So, I walked.  Did I mention I was wearing shoes with no tread on the bottom?  Boo.

Mine are blue.
I started walking very slowly through the quarter-inch-or-so of slush on the sidewalk.  Occasionally I would hit a patch of sidewalk that was not covered in a quarter-inch-or-so of slush, and I would suddenly be able to walk normally.  This never lasted for more than about two seconds, though.  About halfway through my journey, that is, State Street, I remembered how to walk quickly in slush.  Then I slipped twice, so I stopped walking quickly.  But I slipped four more times after stopping walking quickly.  I never fell over during any of these slips, though.  I retained my grace and poise throughout.  Not that there was anyone to see me anyway.

As I walked, perhaps with a hubris borne of finally, at last, after two epic hours, almost reaching home, I thought to myself, "People who drive are missing out!"

Admitting that you have a problem is the first step.


  1. There's hope for all of us, my friend. Keep the faith!

  2. I haven't lost my hope of becoming normal someday . . .