I know I do everything

I know I do everything in my power to not use the word, but… I NEVER want to take BART again. Originally I was going to make that something about never sleeping through my alarm, but we all know that’s not going to happen.

So I wake up on my own about three hours after I normally do. D’OH! Near as I can figure, I woke up at my regular time just long enough to get out of bed, walk over to the alarm (placed far from the bed so I don’t do this), turn it off and go back to bed. Naturally, I recall none of this – only the certainty that I turned my alarm on last night.

So, since I can’t drive in and have to take BART, I took my time getting everything ready, knowing that I’ll just work really late today to make up for it. I get to BART slightly early, hop on the train and get that oh-so-desirable little standing nook in the front of the car. Everything’s going good ’til somewhere in the Oakland tunnels area. The train stops. The air stops. The lights go out. By the time I get my music turned off, the operator has already given her report and decided she’s not going to talk to us for the next 5 minutes we’re in the dark or the next ten that we’re paused in the light.

I go back to reading, tuning out my co-passengers as usual. Especially hard to do since there’s a guy who’s been in SF for 2 weeks (probably from Nebraska or something) and today is his third day on the job. He’s taking polls of the surrounding passengers. “How long do you think this will be? How long does it usually take? Will my boss believe this is BART’s fault (ever hear twenty people snort in derision at the same time?)?”

So I’m finally tuning him out until I hear someone say “…like rats in a cage.” Knowing full well what rats in a cage act like, I decide this isn’t a good thing and start tuning the world again.

“Here you sit down.” “I’m not going to sit down – you sit back down.” “Look, just take the seat.” “I don’t WANT the seat! Just sit down and shut up.” “FINE! No one will sit in the seat!”

This is the mature exchange between two men, one probably in his thirties (I’m horrible with ages) and the other, say, in his sixties or so. In fact, this is the exchange that occurs before the shoving match starts, the young guy throws a punch and the mass of bodies seethes and writhes in front of me as everyone decides to be a hero at the same time. One lady pushes past everyone to hit the “Call Operator for Assistance” button repeatedly, telling everyone around that “something must be done” because “people can’t just go around hitting one another.”

Hasn’t she ever seen Fight Club?

The operator ignores the button pushing, the guys are broken up and we eventually got underway. Surprisingly enough, the rest of the trip was rather uneventful.

The first rule of the BART system? You cannot talk about the BART system.