Trick or Treat at the Train Station

It’s Tuesday morning as I write this entry for Monday, October 31, and I’ve just finished one of those “what were you thinking?” walks that I am so fond of. Normally I’d save this story for Tuesday’s entry, but my decision to walk from North Station to Kenmore Square this morning (which figures out to about two to three miles) was rooted in the events of Monday evening, which I will relate to you now.

Picture me after a long day of preparing for a conference that’s just days away. I have an Excedrin headache from trying to get my office printer to cooperate with the Avery brand tent cards I need to print for every participant in the program. And now I’m standing in line at North Station in Boston, with only about twenty minutes until my train departs, trying to get my hands on a November commuter rail pass before I have to head home. And everything is going well. Yes, everything is going well until I get to the window, ask for my pass, and the insufferable clerk points to a miniscule sign hanging in his window, which I could have, in no way, seen from the back of the line. The sign tells me that he has no more of the passes I need, that I am out of luck, and that I must get back in another line. Which, as I’m sure you’ve already figured out, I had no time to do.

Why this piece of shit couldn’t ask the guy sitting next to him for more Zone 6 passes is something I will never know. I was too busy swearing my head off as I fought my way through the sea of humanity to make my train. But he wouldn’t budge. He was indignant when I suggested to him that no one could have seen his precious sign and I swear the fucker was smiling when he saw how frustrated he was.

So, I got onto the train, still swearing, still kicking things where I could do so without anyone noticing or getting me in trouble. I calmed down after a while, cracked open The Great Gatsby and did feel much better by the time the train arrived in Lowell and I was getting into my car. But the whole incident was still grating on me deep inside.

When I got home, Stephanie was sitting in front of a bowl full to the brim with candy. It turned out that, after not having enough last year, she kind of overdid it this time around. There had been plenty of kids, she told me, but there had also been more than enough goodies to give them. So, she’d been eating candy. And soon, without realizing it, I’d been eating candy, too. Nobody wanted to cook dinner, but we knew that, at the very least, the baby could use some real food.

I ended up grilling the chicken, even though I turned on the oven one last time to see if it would kick into gear. And we had our grilled chicken, which was dry because I wasn’t paying attention (I was too busy eating more candy) and I overcooked it. And it wasn’t until I brought the dishes into the kitchen to put them in the washer that I realized the oven was still on. Except that now it actually was on. All of a sudden, our stove was working again.

“Stephanie, come get your pie!” I screamed with delight. And so, we baked the pie she’d made back on Sunday. And all was good.

Which, in some way, brings me back to my decision to get up early on Tuesday morning to make it to the Lowell train station with enough time to buy my new commuter rail pass and renew my parking pass and still make my normal train. Except that I got there early enough to do all of that and catch an earlier train to boot, which got me into Boston with enough time to walk from North Station to Kenmore, which, as I’ve already mentioned is what I decided to do.

Needless to say, it was a nice walk that put me in a decidedly better mood than I was in last night. I took the greener, more scenic route through the Common, the Public Gardens, and then through the green spots along Comm. Ave. There were families out, little kids laughing and giggling, and 80s music on my iPod. A perfect way to start the day.