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July 14, 2008

Over the weekend, Mr. Angst and I took the Amtrak round trip to see his family and our new nephew. The trip there was delayed an hour—because the freight lines demand priority on their rails and we had to wait for other trains; the trip back was delayed by three hours, but not because of issues with access—our train hit a pedestrian, who was killed. The tragic nature of the accident couldn’t really wipe away my frustration at being stuck on a train in the middle of our state, but at least it put the whole thing in perspective. After all, I missed out on some sleep (and GOD, I am exhausted today), but someone else died.

Of course, people will be people and people can be shallow and tacky—especially overprivileged teenagers, two of whom kept complaining that they were going to demand a refund of their ticket price, and calling their families to repeat how “ridiculous” the situation was. ((While the conductors made no explicit announcements about what had happened, we came to a very abrupt stop, immediately after which one of them made an announcement asking for a doctor or a nurse because there was an incident at a gate crossing. None of those facts could possibly indicate anything good. Yes, it sucked. But someone died.)) At one point, Mr. Angst, who had taken out his headphones to talk to me, looked over and apologized, saying, “I thought it would be nice to talk to you, but I just can’t stand listening to that.” Yeah.

So here it is, Monday, and I had to get up early today (after a scant four hours of sleep) to catch a flight out of town for a day trip. I can barely keep my eyes open, and I am pretty sure (as I head home) that this trip was really pointless. ((The problem with pointless things is that you often cannot know they’ll be pointless till you’ve actually been through them. That’s definitely the case here.)) Still, pointless as this day has been, and tired as I am, I’m still alive. I keep reminding myself of that, and of all the good things going on in my life, and I keep trying to retain some perspective.

Categories: just me
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