There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A rookie mistake

Please read the post about my trip to work before reading this post about my trip home.

Call it a rookie mistake. I thought I could just guess the right time to leave without checking. Trains run every 15 minutes; buses every 30 minutes. No biggie.

I left my office at 6:35 p.m. I assumed I had plenty of time to catch the train at 23rd Street. Instead, I watched it glide away as I reached the station. I didn't try to run to catch it. I'll just get the next train, I said to myself. Relax. That's what this is all supposed to be about.

I should have run. It wasn't until I got home (a story I will get to in a minute) that I discovered trains run every 15 minutes until 6:39 p.m. and then it's every 30 minutes.

So I read my book and waited and fretted as I watched not one but two trains going downtown. My train finally arrived at 7:20 p.m. -- a good 10 minutes late.

Well, I think to myself, this will be the train that meets the bus. I'll just go straight on and home. But when I arrived at the 65th Street station at 7:28 p.m. there was no bus. This time I had a bus schedule and I checked my watch. Right time; no bus. About 7:40 p.m. I walked over to an RT supervisor who was gabbing with a driver and asked what had become of the 7:28 No. 82 bus.

"It left at 7:28 p.m.," he said.

"Did not," I said.

I tried to get him to admit the bus had left early but he wouldn't buy it.

Fine. I returned to my light standard and went back to reading my book.

At 8:07 the No. 82 arrived and I climbed aboard. The bus left the station at its scheduled time -- 8:15 p.m.

So, let me recap: I left my office at 6:35 p.m. and here it was after 8 p.m. as I started the 40 minute bus ride home. I went back to reading. I'm near the end of the book and its a real page-turner. In fact it's so spellbinding that I didn't realize the bus had passed my stop until it was several blocks past my house.

At 9:09 I called my wife from American River College and asked her to come retrieve me.

This was not a good transit night.

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