So I announced I was back and then … nothing.
But this weekend I went downstate to visit my parents. Their internet connection was spotty at best, and if I wanted to get any solid wireless I had to head to the public library, where a bunch of elderly creeps and shrieking children were gathered around the computer lab. (And by “lab,” please know that I mean “group of computers placed on folding tables in the middle of the library.” High tech.) I don’t know what I expected of life in the corn, though.
So I made it back up to the city today. Since it’s completley impractical to keep a car in the city, whenever I go home, I either beg rides off my old roommate or take the Amtrak. The Amtrak is chronically late, but it’s gets me where I’m going, and it’s kind of a relaxing trip. I figured it wouldn’t be all bad to take the train back to the city this morning: I was taking the 7:30 a.m. train, which is considerably less likely to be late than the others, and I had a bunch of work to do on my comment, so I figured it would give me a couple of hours to write.
The train was late. Standard. That didn’t really faze me because it was less than half an hour, so I figured I’d still be in the city before 11 a.m., which would be plenty of time to go home, drop off my luggage, and be back in the loop for work by 1 p.m.
Then the train stopped to let a freight train past. And didn’t start again.
I’m still not entirely sure what went wrong — something with the air and the engine and the brakes — but I know that train wasn’t going anywhere. We ended up sitting on the tracks for three hours while they tried to hook us up somehow to a freight train to drag us to Chicago. Finally they gave up on that idea and we spent another twenty minutes waiting while they tried to figure out how to move the train up approximately ten yards so that we could get off and get on some buses. (Because clearly we couldn’t walk those ten yards. Liability, you know.) By the time it was all said and down, I wasn’t at Union Station until almost 3 p.m.
Silver lining: I got 10 pages written on my comment, which I never would have done if I hadn’t been trapped on a stationary train.