You can call me Queen of the Tide, if you like. Because that is what I have been for the last few weeks. I knew it was coming to this… I just didn’t know when. For this month, much to my dismay, my first minivan died and I now have to take the light rail.
In the meantime, my good friend’s car AND her son’s car both died during the same period of time. It wasn’t even three weeks ago that we literally sat on the curb holding each other as we cried. I’m sure the neighbors were both intrigued and afraid at the sight of two wild haired women weeping in the street.
Normally, I drove my mother’s old van while my middle son drove my original van. Have I mentioned yet how TIRED I am of driving MINIVANS!? Please… a used Toyota Tacoma that seats four… can you drop down from Heaven, preferably not on top of me? But I digress.
My middle son needs wheels more than I do. He goes to school, helps with pickups and errands, finally ending many days at work. Now I let him take the one remaining car, dropping me off at the light rail station in the mornings.
It was a hard adjustment – going from a car to no car. Sure, people all over the world have no cars. I am honestly grateful the remaining minivan continues to run. But it still changed my life in a few significant ways. I get to work later and therefore have to work later. Once I’m at work I’m stuck there without a change of scenery. I arrive at my desk covered in sweat, having walked a long distance from the final station to work. The ride home gets me back much later, and then I have no way to go to the gym. I can’t pick up food on the way home, pet supplies or even run by the library to return books. I won’t even be able to pick my daughter up on her last day of school – a tradition we hold close to our hearts.
In the meantime, my friend was riding The Tide as well, however much earlier than I was. To lighten things up I decided I was going to start taping tiny notes under the seats and sending cell phone pictures of their locations to my friend.
“Train 409A, leaving downtown going home, right side, second seat from the front.”
Each time I got on a train I would smile my sly smile and discreetly tape a note under the chair. I knew that at some point she would finally get on the right train and start her day with a funny note to make her smile. When that momentous day arrived, I woke up to find the following text messages:
WHAT?! The note wasn’t there? I wanted to tell her, “Look again! Look again!” Sadly, no notes were found.
Happily for her, she was able to buy a new car last weekend and no longer rides the train. Since then I have been on several trains that I stuck notes to and haven’t found a single one. All I can think is someone cleaning the cars began to find my secret messages. I hope they made someone’s day… but considering my friend is a witch and some of my notes often eluded to that in bizarre and cryptic ways, I most likely frightened them instead.
But then again, there WAS the giant duck…
And so I ride… no one to send notes to on my long, lonely jaunt along the steel rails of life.