Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Why My Rage Is My Master, Part Four

So I leap out of bed, shower, dress, and drive to the station singing a pean to the new working day, in full expectation of meeting my 8:17 train in good time.

I arrive at Wyandanch and park in the reconstruction of the Lunar Surface at Tranquility Base thoughtfully provided for the commuters in place of a proper car park, and walk to the station, at which point I'm greeted by a stampede of commuters coming the other way.

A voice from the PA system wafts overhead informing everyone that all service on the Ronkonkoma line is suspended indefinitely because someone parked a truck on the tracks and against all reason a train hit it.

I limp back the the fabulous Steviemobile, now repaired and working like it was before Xmas, and drive to Babylon through horrendous traffic slowed to 20 mph because of the school speed zones all along the route. Once there I race to my usual car park to find that there are spaces, but each has about three cubic yards of highly-compacted snow in them, pushed there by a bulldozer.

Reasoning that moving that using my collapsible snow shovel would be an invitation to more back agony, I decided to call it a day and get an egg sandwich instead. I am by now a half hour late anyway.

I attempt to drive back home, but the traffic on Deer Park Avenue is inexplicably at a standstill. Roadworks level of non-movement. I pull off as soon as I can, some ten minutes later, and drive around the jam to a gas station to fill up, where I can see the jam from where it starts, but no actual reason for it.

I drive out of the gas station and attempt to re-join Deer Park Avenue, but a new traffic jam has formed in the side-street I'm trying to use. I pull a U-Turn and use a different light to enter the bewilderingly empty Deer Park Avenue. Not a car in sight.

In the egg sandwich shop I am just about to be served when I see a message on the TV that the Ronkonkoma line is back in play (but that Atlantic Terminal is closed down due to a fire), so I bolt sandwichless back to Wyandanch, where I board a train a few minutes later. I am now about an hour late.

The train goes local, making all stops to pick up people stranded by the earlier outage. This gives the firemen enough time to put out the blaze at Atlantic Terminal so it can open for business again. Not to worry though; by the time we get to Jamaica1 we have missed the connecting train to Atlantic Terminal and will have a half hour wait in the freezing cold for the next one - assuming it deigns to appear at all. I elect to stay on the Penn Station bound train and use the subway. I am now an hour and a half late.

The Penn Station bound train gets as far as Woodside, when it stops and a message blares from the PA that there is "a power condition" ahead and the train will be delayed at Woodside indefinitely. There is talk of taking the subway instead, and doors open so people can do that. I refuse.

No sooner are all the other commuters off the train than the same voice announces we are clear to proceed west, so they open all the doors again and the conductors yell at everyone to get back on the train.

At Penn Station I catch an "A" train to Brooklyn almost immediately. It gets roughly halfway between the station I want and the previous one, then stops. By the time it starts again I am two hours late.

Another day in paradise is finally underway.

  1. Not the good one

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