Friday, January 26, 2007

Better Than the Alternative

I rushed out of the office to make the 6:14 PM “baby bullet” so that I would be home before seven, but it was all for naught. The problem wasn’t the Muni, which deposited us at the San Francisco Caltrain station just in time (although we did have to hurry across the hazardous 4th & King intersection where commuters dodge cars that are turning onto the freeway).

I boarded the 6:14 train, which pulled out promptly then came to a dead stop. We had struck a pedestrian.

15 minutes grew to 30, then an hour. I looked out the window and saw the flashing lights of police cars and paramedics. There didn’t seem to be much movement.

Most passengers had exasperated looks, but no one dared complain. We may have had a bad day, but some unfortunate soul had it much worse. The train that followed us, the 6:33, pulled alongside at 7:30. We were instructed to exit; our baby bullet was done for the night.

The conductors crafted a footbridge to join the middle cars (each had five), and we slowly crowded into the 6:33 without setting foot on the ground. That was wise; I get squeamish walking in pastures or certain City neighborhoods, and there was no light on the tracks to watch where or on what we were stepping. The 6:33 was standing room only, and it made extra stops to accommodate the doubled-up schedules.

I was home by 8:30. The night was shot. Life is what happens when you make plans, but it’s better than the alternative. © 2007 Stephen Yuen

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