Thursday, March 23, 2017


I've been out of state.

That might not seems like the best thing to do, but it meant spending time living with other people.  (Broken ankle is much easier to manage when someone can carry stuff from one room to another and actually make food.)  It was also part of a plan (or was it a plot?) to inject something up into this broken ankle time.

See, there was a concert.

Apparently once something has happened all record of it ceases to exist, so I can't link to anything, but it was Dar Williams at the Cabot Theater in Beverley, Mass.

That was one day after I made the journey from home to Massachusetts, and five days after the concert, which was yesterday, it was time to come home.

This is, as you might imagine, a bit of a process.

~ ~ ~

I didn't have to worry about losing my hat on the way home as I'd lost it on the way over.  There was the obligatory forgetting of important things (the two external hard drives on which my computer had been backed up) and all of the usual stuff.

But the thing is . . . I'm fatter and weaker than I used to be, somehow my backpack seemed to weigh as much as a twelve year old, and the T is . . . the T.

Thus I started off absurdly early in hopes of maybe catching my bus.

~ ~ ~

Oak Grove does at least have elevators.  The elevator doors have a habit of only opening half way when they're supposed to open, and getting open the rest of the way sometime in the following week.  This is fucked up, and while it doesn't inconvenience me I have seen it, and could have figured out without the seeing of it, be really fucking unhelpful to a person in a wheelchair.

Also, I spent a good deal of time wishing for a wheelchair.

Anyway, I crutched from drop off to elevator, then from elevator to bench.  Then I rested.  If I were walking this would be absurd.

After a while I made my way to the place where you pay, I'd actually acted like an intelligent person and taken the Charlie Card (an RFID card that you put money on electronically so that you can use the Boston T by holding said card up to a reader which is a lot faster than other means of payment) out before getting off the bench.

Another elevator, much exertion to get to the damned train.  Normally I go to the far end, because that's where my exit is.  I barely made it to the near end in time to catch what was, I think, the second train to leave since I was dropped off.

Also, it was fucking cold, and something about the combination of crutches and my backpack kept making my shirt ride up.

I usually describe the behavior of the Orange Line as it goes outbound.  Inbound is . . . well, stuff.

At Oak Grove, which is the end of the line, it's a ground train.  Next stop is Malden Center.  For that it's a full blown L (elevated) train.  Then it goes back to the ground, crosses the water, comes into the place with the giant Lego Giraffe (actually Duplo, but Duplo is a Lego brand), and really starts to flirt with the idea of being an L again, but comes back down to earth for the stops themselves.

A while later it's underground and we have achieved subway.

Downtown Crossing is my stop.  Downtown Crossing has no elevators.  Downtown Crossing has a sign saying that elevators will be installed.  I was told that they said it would take seven months.  This was said a year ago.

But before we even get to the lack of elevators, remember that I'm on the wrong end of the train.

I think I have to stop and rest two times just to walk from one end of the platform to the other.

When I get to the stairs down to the Red Line I take a third rest.  I am, by now, drenched in sweat.

For most of the way there's a sturdy railing, this is good because going down stairs on crutches sucks.  I'm very slow and get in various peoples ways.

At the end of the stairs, though, something changes.  For the last few steps.  Just three or four of them between a landing and platform level, the railing ceases to be a good railing because it's no longer bolted to the fucking wall.

Thus I have to sit on my ass and slowly butt slide down the final stairs.  There's no one there right then, so I have a sort of mini-break.

It's not enough.  I don't even make it down the hall, drop to my knees at a hall intersection, the intersection makes it wider, so I hope that I won't be too much in the way.

Multiple trains let off people going between the Red Line and Orange Line.  Several of the people wonder if I need help, if I'm dying, if they should call emergency services on my behalf, and so forth.

I eventually reach the Red Line just as a train leaves.

I don't remember if I got there in one trip or not.  It seems unlikely, but I don't remember stopping.

Anyway, I got to the good place to get on the train.

I was only on for one stop, but damn was it nice to be able to sit.  (I'd also been not-up while waiting for the train to come.)

~ ~ ~

Once I got off at South Station I walked to the wall opposite the tracks and collapsed.

I didn't quite stay there until the next train came, but it was close.

I remembered that south station did have elevators and actually used it to get to T-Loby level.

The elevator to ground level, however, is out of service.  Ish.

Now I was drenched in sweat before I even got on the train that brought me here, so as one might imagine I'm not exactly trying to add heat to myself.  My coat is sort of tied around my waist (the sleeves aren't quite long enough to make a decent knot) and definitely not keeping me warm.

Thus we come to the "ish".

I was fully willing to take the escalator.  The up escalator was shut down.  Not just shut down.  The only reason I remembered that South Station has elevators in the first place is because the up escalator from the platform was also shut down.  This one, however, is shut down and blocked off as if it is the scene of a nuclear waste spill.

So, the "ish".  There is an elevator to ground level.  It just isn't inside the station.  It lets you out outside of the building, and then you have to go through the death-cold to get back inside South Station.

Finding the elevator required enough energy that I had to drop to the ground and rest before using it.

Getting from the elevator back into the building required another period of rest.

It's a bit hazy until I sat at one of the tables and took off my bag for rest where I was sitting on an actual chair.

There were clocks.  I had time.  Seriously.  There was over an hour until my bus left.

And I was really fucking thirsty, and (having recovered from the outside's death cold) back to overheating.

When I was sufficiently rested I went over to the place next to the pink berry and got a strawberry banana smoothy, put as much weight on the counter as I could to take it off of my right leg which was, remember, doing all of the work.  Work that's more than normal. even before you take the fact that one leg is doing all of it into account, because you don't walk with crutches, you vault.

Smoothy comes and we have the difficult and strange hopping of someone who's only using one crutch, well using both crutches as if they're a single crutch, because they need a hand free to carry a smoothy.

I'm kind of surprised I actually made it back to the table and chair place.

Some brain freeze troubles, but otherwise the smoothy was very good and something that I needed.

The moment I decide to get up and go to the bus terminal, boarding is announced on track one.

South Station is in three sections.  Below ground, and at the front, is the T.  Red Line and Silver Line.  Above ground, and in the front to front-middle, is the waiting area of the long distance trains.  This is full of food places and . . . um, stuff.

Occupying the entire rest of the middle (which is definitely the biggest section) is an outdoor area where the long distance trains board.

At the back is the second building that makes up South Station: the bus terminal.

So to get from where I was to where I was going I had to go outside, for a fair distance, and here's the annoying part: there is no dedicated way to get from front South Station to back South Station.  Instead you walk down the boarding platform for track one.

If timing is right, that's not too much of a problem, but if you happen to have the misfortune of moving from one end to the other when track one is boarding . . . it's a hassle even when you can walk.

So I waited longer than planned, and even so I got in people's way because I was slow, and I had to take breaks (did I mention that the temperature was death-cold?), and more people enquired as to my well being or lack thereof.

Once I got inside the bus terminal the first thing I did was take another break.  The windows have sills that are perfect for sitting on.

The elevator here did work, so that's what I did once I could.

That only gets you one floor, though, and you need to to go two.

Nice stone bench for a break in between the two elevators.

Up the next one, still haven't missed my bus, go to where the buses are, have a sort of mini standing-break at the entrance, and then get to where my bus is in, I think, one push.  And promptly collapse because that's overdoing it.  I was in fact trying to begin the process of getting to the ground to sit.  But no one who saw could have mistaken what happened for intentional.

It was, however, a clean landing on hands and knees.

I should probably mention something about my right hand at this point though.  Before the concert I slipped on black ice (it hurts pedestrians too) in a Subway (sandwich place) parking lot.  Landed on my hands.  The thumb section of my right palm didn't like this, but it wasn't a big deal.

All of this crutching around, though, put a a lot of pressure on my hands, including the thumb section of my right palm.

It was a very unhappy hand, is the point.

~ ~ ~

The bus ride home was largely uneventful, though Amazon did want me to know that I was running out of time to pre-order Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX (top of the wishlist) which . . . why would you remind someone of something like that?  Oh my god, come the 28th you'll be able to order-order it instead of pre-order it.  Woe is everyone if that should come to pass, buy now so you won't have to order-order!

And this is a source of minor annoyance because I thought that it came out February 28th when I put it on the wishlist.  Though, I would have put it there anyway.  I've always wanted to play Kingdom Hearts and that represents the the first six games worth of content.

I feel like there might have been other things of note on the bus, but none come to mind.

~ ~ ~

I was picked up by my dad.  From him I learned that there may be an animal in the house (beyond mice and such) that wasn't invited (but it could just as plausibly have been his eyes playing tricks on him) and that I had no oil.

As it would turn out, I did have oil.  But the house had been without heat for days.  It was cold.

When I made it down stairs (not an easy task) I discovered that the water was too low for the furnace to run, and the oil gauge was on empty.  I put in enough water, toggled the power on and off, and the thing started running.  The gauge has always been an approximation.

Of course at this point the house was really cold, I had no idea how much oil there was (no idea if it could heat the house or would burn through in a minute or two),  and . . . stuff.  I brought up an electric blanket and a blanket so heavy I haven't needed it since I've been forced by ankle to sleep up stairs, reheated my numb feet with a heating pad while the two blankets worked together to create a warm cocoon.

~ ~ ~

And that was my homecoming.

I think.

No comments:

Post a Comment