I won’t be on the train tomorrow. This fact alone will make it unlike most other weekdays in my working life. I’ve got good reasons – I’m heading to Ashland to take part in an annual get-together with my aging buddies. This year marks the 27th year that we’ve done this, and I’m proud to have called many of these guys friends for the last four decades.
As great as the trip sounds, though, it feels a little weird to not be laying out my clothes and packing my lunch for that early morning train ride. So, I’ve decided to take a few measures to make things feel a little more normal.
1. We’ll be stopping every five minutes or so, all the way down the freeway. I’ll announce each stop and let my passenger know which door he can use if he’d like to get out.
2. I’m hiring some, err, robust people to squeeze into the seat next to my friend. One of them will smell like an abandoned cigarette factory. The other will be reading “The Help.”
3. At least once, when my friend comes back to the car after using the restroom, I’ll pull away just as his hand reaches the door handle. I will make him run after the car, and I’ll avoid all eye contact.
4. Two words – initiative petitioners.
5. Our original passengers will get off after loudly asking my friend for directions and sighing with dissatisfaction. A group of teenagers will get on, and when we ask for gas money they will let us know that they are “students” and don’t need to pay for gas.
6. As soon as my friend tries to drink coffee out of his travel mug, I’ll swerve wildly.
7. I will wear shorts with a dark stripe on the side. Even if it’s raining.
8. We’ll arrive a few minutes too late for him to catch a ride with his other friend. I will be unapologetic and let him know that our arrival time was “just an estimate.”
9. I’ll charge him more for gas on the way back than I did on the way down, citing increased operating expenses.
I think that all these changes should make it easier for me to adjust to not taking Trimet until next Monday. I’ll see you then!