Boomerang

I was running later than usual this morning. (Not late, just later than usual.) I was sleepy, and just couldn’t get motivated. Phillip was driving to work, and he offered me a ride up to Broadway. I turned him down, because catching the 47 on Bellevue has become the routine for me. It really is the best commuting option for me. (Of course, the 47 is being discontinued very soon.)

As I left the apartment building, I had to stop and wait for Phillip, who was driving out of the garage. I believe that’s the first time that’s happened.

I exited the 47 at Westlake. As I rode the escalator down into the station, my cell phone signaled an incoming text message. I decided I’d read it on the platform while I’m waiting for the train. I tapped my ORCA card and continued down.

The text message was from my supervisor. Could I cover in the U District this morning?

I wondered about the best way to get to the U District from Westlake. My first thought was to walk over to Pike Street and catch a 43. I also thought about catching a 70 on 3rd Avenue. The 43 would get me closer to where I needed to be than the 70.

I wondered if any of the northbound tunnel buses would get me there. Any of the 70-series routes should get me in the general vicinity – maybe. I didn’t know. I didn’t know much about the northbound tunnels buses, I realized, and I didn’t have time to find out.

Time was not critical. My work day has a certain amount of flexibility to it. I’d have to be very late to be considered “tardy”. Plus, given the circumstances, no one could blame me for arriving a few minutes late to the U District. Still, starting late means staying late at the end of the day.

As I made my way across the upper station, toward the exit, I passed an ORCA card reader. I wondered what would happen if I tapped my card twice at the same station. The display read: “Trip cancelled”. That’s a nice feature, I thought.

I replied to my supervisor’s text message as soon as I regained cell phone reception. I walked over to Pike Street.

(Later, I checked with Metro’s Trip Planner. It appears I couldn’t have gotten where I needed to be from the transit tunnel without at least one transfer or a mile-long walk.)

OneBusAway told me that I’d have a 14 minute wait for the 43. A 49 was due in 2 minutes. The 49 wasn’t a great option, but it would do.

I knew that I’d been playing too much Kerbal Space Program, because this all reminded me of trying to do a complicated maneuver to another planet.

The 49 got me to my U District desk five minutes past the official start of my shift. I stayed five minutes past the end of my shift, so all was good.

My U District desk is near a medical center. I often have to cut through the medical center in the course of my duties. Today, in the medical center, I saw something horrible.

There was an unframed painting hanging on a wall. And there was a guy painting the wall with a roller on a long pole. He was painting the wall around, and up to, the unframed painting. He seemed to be doing a professional job of it, but I couldn’t help thinking that all it would take would be one stray drop of paint, or a slight slip of the hand… It was too horrifying to look at.

I caught a 43 from the U District to Downtown. Along the way, my ex-wife got on and sat next to me. We had a nice chat.

Of course, I missed my usual 47 home this evening. I caught a 49 instead.

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