Sunday, February 22, 2009


Today it is raining. The clouds descended upon the city while I was at church, spewing soggy drops of suffering from their swollen bellies. It is a cold, miserable rain that sucks the life from every store front and washes every joyful thought into the catch basin and away to the ocean.

Or the misery might have something to do with the fact that I did not anticipate it and, therefore, have not brought an umbrella or worn appropriate attire.

To get to my apartment from Harvard Square I have to take a bus and then transfer to the trolley. As we approach the transfer stop, I see a green line trolley waiting at the intersection. I thank the bus driver and descend the stairs of the bus. All I must do is cross the intersection and I'll be on the final leg of my journey: safe, warm, and dry. I step out part way into the street and peer around the front of the stopped bus. Car after car zooms past, each one hitting the same puddle and sending the same low arc of water across my legs. With each passing auto, I grow more anxious. The light is going to change and the trolley is going to depart without me on it!

Plus I am getting a little bit soaked.

Finally there is a tiny gap in traffic and I dart recklessly across the street. Apparently another person likes this idea and follows directly in my wake. The cars slow just enough to let us pass through, and we make it to the doors of the trolley exactly as the light changes to green.

The conductor in the first car looks at us, a couple of poor, rain-drenched little slobs, shakes his head 'no, sorry' and begins to move the train forward.

"What???" I say out loud.

"What???" my new friend echoes. We are both more than miffed.

I am actually sooooo tired and upset by this point, and I just cannot understand why the operator could not just wait the fifteen seconds to open the doors and let us on - yes I know I know there are schedules and headways to maintain, but, on a cold and rainy afternoon, one might consider that there are some things that are more important than schedules and headways. And this is ME, here. MEEEEEEEE. Did he somehow miss the fact that the focal point of this universe is my momentary happiness and well-being? As the trolley passes, I stick my foot out and kick the side of it with my shoe (and a quiet 'hmph'). I know it is probably not safe, that my shoe laces could become entangled in the ventilation grill and I would be dragged along, my face being ground to a pulp along the ballast or something, but the action itself is remarkably satisfying. Nothing like a little misplaced anger to ease the emotional slights of calloused MBTA employees.

Best part: another trolley followed immediately behind the first one...


The Dancing Newt said...

p.s. I was able to find some joy once I got home, too.

Logan said...

Rain seems much less miserable where I am, especially January-February rain. Mainly because it is the absence of of the alternatives (smog and snow), I suppose.

Thirdmango said...

I had a similar situation last summer except it was a bus transfer. I had decided to help an old lady off my bus instead of just hurrying ahead and I reached the bus, just as it was leaving, it was completely stopped by traffic, I knocked on the door and he shook his head no. I became later for work by an hour because I helped an old lady.