Yesterday afternoon, Phillip notified me that, according to the Seattle City Light map, power was out in our neighborhood. Neither one of us were home, so there wasn’t anything we could do about it.
Three hours later, I checked the map. Power was back on. That’s the way power outages typically occur in our neighborhood: When power does go out, it’s never out for more than an hour or two. (Well, except for that night when it was out for eight or nine hours.)
We got home and reset the clocks in our apartment. These days, that’s only two clocks – the bedroom clock and the microwave. We’re content to let the VCR blink 12:00. (Having no cable TV, there’s nothing to set to record.)
My weekday mornings have four important times: First, when I wake up; then, when I get Phillip out the door if he’s riding a bus to work; then, when I get Phillip out the door if he’s driving to work; and finally, when I get myself out the door.
The bedroom alarm wakes me up, and then my phone’s alarms remind me of the other three times.
I woke up this morning before the alarm went off. Then something – I have no idea what – told me something was wrong. I looked at the clock. It was the time I’d normally be getting Phillip up to catch the bus. The alarm hadn’t gone off. We’d set the alarm incorrectly.
We both rushed through getting ready. Normally, we’d have our own times without getting in each other’s ways, but not this morning. Phillip managed to get out the door, catch a bus, and get to work on time. I managed to get myself out the door on time, with my hair still wet.
On the Westlake Station platform, a stranger asked me if this was where the train to the airport stops.
“Yes, it is,” I answered.
“Well, how would I know that?” he asked.
“There are signs, like that one,” I replied, pointing to the sign above our heads. Then, worried that that might have sounded sarcastic, I added, “Or you could ask someone standing around.” The stranger laughed at that.
A moment or two later, that same stranger asked me, “Do all the trains stop at every station? I mean, are there express trains?”
“No, they all stop at every station. From here, the train will get to the airport in about thirty-seven minutes.”
“Oh, that’s perfect.”
I got to work on time, of course. A coworker, who typically arrives before me, arrived a few minutes after me. Her bus had broken down. She was on time for work, however. (She, like me, allows for a flexible commute.)
Right after my coworker and I exchanged stories of our atypical commutes, I received a text message. Link light rail service was temporarily disrupted. Five minutes after that, Link service was back.