Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
World Gone Mad
It's been a decidedly bizarre, post-apocalypticky, Twilight Zone-ish morning around here.
I woke this morning to a repeat of a problem I'd had earlier this year with my iPod. It's just not working. It tells me that the battery is low and that I should charge it. It tells me this after sitting plugged into the computer all night, charging. The last time this happened, I stood in line at TekServe for a half an hour, the technician plugged my iPod in to her computer and the problem magically disappeared. So I'm not panicky this time, but neither do I want to go through that hassle (and embarrassment) again.
On top of that, my cell phone decided to bug out on me. At times this morning, it hasn't been able to even connect. At other times, it's connected, but without giving me the ability to hear anything, which makes for a fairly pointless phone call. At still other times, it's been fine. Almost as if the phone was fucking with me. Like it was a sentient--and malevolent--being.
Then there's the biggest problem, which is that it rained last night. Oh no! Wetness! Not normally a huge deal, but this rain has played havoc with the New York City transit system. Flooded tracks, delayed trains, entire lines shut down. Not fun.
I discovered this as I was standing in my usual place on the 135th St 2/3 Bronx-bound platform this morning, wondering why I'd been standing there for so long. Walking back over to the entrance, I noticed that the station agent was turning people away, which I took to mean that there wasn't a whole lot of point to my being there, either.
I tried calling work to let them know I was going to be running late. Which is when I discovered the problem with my phone. Dashing back to the apartment, I checked online, saw that another train line which goes somewhat close to my school appeared to be running. So I hauled my cookies through the hot, sodden air, along sidewalks filled with pissed-off commuters and sat down to wait for the Uptown B train.
I should pause here to mention that I had a book of three Raymond Chandler novels with me, so the time I spent waiting during all this was actually somewhat enjoyable, if oppressively humid.
Uptown I go on the D train, which was substituting for the B. I get out somewhere in the vicinity of PS/MS 279 and hike the rest of the way to work. And then the Teacher in Charge (the poor guy who's been stuck with most of the work this summer as the administrators enjoy time away from the building) tells me that, after I'd spoken with him, he'd talked to the principal, who'd said I should have just stayed home.
'Cause, see, there's really no work for me today. We did the testing Monday and yesterday. Today is just make-up testing and there are already more than enough teachers to take care of that. Other teachers were making use of this time to work on getting their rooms ready for fall. I don't have a room. I could, I suppose have worked on getting someone else's room ready for fall, but I'm just not that nice.
So I clocked out and headed to the train. Which I figured would probably be running at least semi-normally by now.
And it kind of was. But it kind of wasn't. Luckily, the really bad flooding is downtown from our house, to there were trains going where I needed to get. Unluckily, the trains were monstrously overcrowded. The first train I was on wasn't so bad, I guess. I had to stand. But there was ample room if I wanted to, say, move my arm three inches.
This was not the case on my second train. Ye gods. I didn't even try to get on the first train to pull into the station. There was no room when it got there and then the fifty million people on the platform with me tried to cram themselves in, too. I sat back and laughed. The second train to pull in wasn't quite so crowded, but it was doing a pretty good imitation.
I was the last one to squeeze myself in, which meant that I had to tuck my ass in to avoid getting my buttcheeks caught in the closing door. And then I had the pleasure of standing cheek-to-jowl with other highly annoyed folks who'd also been standing on a hot, humid, stinky subway platform. I was standing close enough to feel the sweat that was running down their bodies. I only had to go one stop, which would have been relatively painless, except for the fact that the train was delayed a whole bunch of times in between the stations. Your arm gets damn tired when you're unable to put it down for fifteen minutes, let me tell you.
But now I'm home. The air conditioning is fully functional. I'm done with work for the rest of the summer. I've got tickets for a They Might Be Giants show tonight. Pretty damned pre-apocalyptic, really.