Missed opportunity

Caltrain #906, never a slave to routine, this evening did something especially unusual.  It missed the Menlo Park stop and came to rest a few wagon lengths ahead of the platform, blocking the pedestrian walkway where I happened to be waiting to cross the tracks.  Now, I should say that while I may possibly, one time, have jaywalked across the street, I never cross train tracks against the light – children might be watching, and given the number of deaths we’ve had recently, I wouldn’t want to set a bad example.  But this train, sitting quite unreasonably in my path, provoked me.

Now a train, for those of you unfamiliar with this traditional mode of transportation, is quite a large beast.


The carriage sits on big wheels, quite some distance off the ground.  Really pretty far off.  It’s practically a superhighway between the wheels.  You see where I’m going with this – how hard would it be to duck under the train, and in a matter of seconds crawl or slither across to the other side, where Cafe Borrone beckoned with the promise of Vanilla Italian soda and good conversation?

But you’re a sharp cookie, so you’re wondering, what if the train were to move as I was in mid-slither, rendering this Indian asunder – creating two half-Indians?  Well, that’s the beauty of it – the train was just sitting, with engine idling – what are the odds it would move at precisely the wrong moment?  Zero, I’m sure.  And yet, and yet … upon completing my successful crossing, I could imagine that I had just had a risky, near death adventure, and voila … new perspective, gratitude for each breath, new lease on life!  Instant long-term happiness!  (The girl who survived that mid-Atlantic plane crash last month – she’s gotta be so set.)

As I contemplated this joyous prospect, the train backed into its rightful parking place.  I crossed.    Another opportunity missed.  But not forgotten.


3 Responses to “Missed opportunity”

  1. Nephew Says:

    Nice post but try to avoid dying under trains, for my sake. And Aroop’s. We need guidance.

  2. susan Says:

    Reading this gives me sweaty palms. Read Anna Karenina before the next time you are confronted with such an opportunity.

    A feeling such as she had known when about to take the first plunge in bathing came upon her, and she crossed herself. That familiar gesture brought back into her soul a whole series of girlish and childish memories, and suddenly the darkness that had covered everything for her was torn apart, and life rose up before her for an instant with all its bright past joys. But she did not take her eyes from the wheels of the second carriage. And exactly at the moment when the space between the wheels came opposite her, she dropped the red bag, and drawing her head back into her shoulders, fell on her hands under the carriage, and lightly, as though she would rise again at once, dropped on to her knees. And at the same instant she was terror-stricken at what she was doing. ‘Where am I? What am I doing? What for?’ She tried to get up, to drop backwards; but something huge and merciless struck her on the head and rolled her on her back. ‘Lord, forgive me all!’ she said, feeling it impossible to struggle. A peasant muttering something was working at the iron above her. And the light by which she had read the book filled with troubles, falsehoods, sorrow, and evil, flared up more brightly than ever before, lighted up for her all that had been in darkness, flickered, began to grow dim, and was quenched for ever.

  3. Emily Says:

    It’s always the train coming the other direction that will get you. Every time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: