Saturday, January 31, 2015

Inauspicious Beginnings

My day started inauspiciously today- after working until 4AM in frigid temperatures with brutal wind chills, I slept for three hours. I woke up at 7:47AM to get ready to head to midtown Manhattan for my volunteer gig and immediately put on the local "all-news (except when the Yankees are playing)" station for their once-every-ten-minutes traffic and weather report. This being the New York metropolitan area, the traffic report also covers the transit system, should there be a problem. This morning, there was a particularly dire report, for me... the 1 Train southbound service was suspended because of police activity at the 238th St station, which happens to be my stop. Damn... When the all-clear was given about an hour later, I headed down to my typical parking spot.

When I got to the elevated tracks, I couldn't help but see the gray "Medical Examiner" minivan parked under the el. Yeah, not a good sign. I ascended the stairs and got a glimpse of a bright blue bag on a gurney, and a couple of technicians with "CORONER" appliquéd on the back. Well, I couldn't complain, being on the outside of the bag, though the person in the bag was beyond complaining.

The ride to Manhattan was uneventful, though the train was a bit more crowded than usual, due to the earlier delays. The classes were awesome- the kids were especially funny today. I had one very small girl, trying to bear walk under me while we were doing this exercise, and if there's something on this planet cuter than 4 to 7 year-olds sumo wrestling, I don't know what it is... even kittens would be jealous. One of our students, a tiny slip of a thing with a blonde page-boy haircut and a black eye that her younger sister had given her during some at-home roughhousing, was particularly good today, beating opponents larger than herself using techniques we'd taught her. She finally met her match fighting a sweet, mild-mannered girl about fifty percent larger than her... oh, well. You can tell which kids have siblings, they tend to be the tough ones... I can see this particular girl's trajectory- black eye by six, black belt by sixteen.

After the program, I headed up to work and had an inauspicious beginning to my workday... some jackass was walking on the frozen surface of the on-site body of water. I yelled at the guy, "GET OFF OF THE ICE! AND FOR GOOD MEASURE, GET OFF OF THE PROPERTY!"

I had been inconvenienced by one corpse already that day... I sure as hell didn't need to be inconvenienced by another.

UPDATE: Earlier, I was combing the internet for this story, but it hadn't been published... the deceased was twenty-two years old. DAMN

7 comments:

Chickpea said...

So tragic for her family and traumatic for the train driver.

Provider_UNE said...

Oh crap!!!

Thats a fucking beginning. Not gonna read the article attempting to insulate soul from misery, but can read through chickpeas lines to generate a thumbnail.

May today and tomorrow start in a more favourable fashion...
...

mikey said...

We have two sets of tracks that run approximately parallel north/south through "the peninsula", what people around here call San Mateo county, immediately south of San Francisco. To the east is CalTrain, a regular traditional full gauge train with huge double decker cars for packing in the commuters, and to the west BART is the commute train subway equivalent.

Well, all this rail activity has not gone unnoticed by the sick and hopeless, and it seems to have overtaken the Golden Gate swan dive as the preferred method for calling it quits and getting out of the business of breathing. And when they do, the whole system shuts down for a couple hours while they do their investigation stuff.

They've finally approved the people catcher for the GG bridge - something they've been talking about as long as I can remember - so I suspect the number of people taking the train to the pearly gates will only increase...

mikey said...

Look, I KNOW it says "I'm not a robot" but I can't help but read it as the plaintive insistence "I'm not an idiot"...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Very sad.
~

Patricia said...

Omg! You have to wonder how many times she may have used that unsafe path time and again and her luck ran out. I wonder if she was late or what circumstances caused her to put herself in danger? Then you are confronted by another daredevil..That is very strange synchronicity. Be careful.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

So tragic for her family and traumatic for the train driver.

Yeah. It happened at 4:30AM, so alcohol might have been a factor. She was in a weird spot, a maintenance catwalk. It really never should have happened.

May today and tomorrow start in a more favourable fashion...

Thanks! I actually had a good day, even with the senseless death of a stranger impinging on it's beginning.

And when they do, the whole system shuts down for a couple hours while they do their investigation stuff.

That's horrible... someone whose life is so hopeless, they can only make a statement with their death, a statement which impacts thousands of people.

Very sad.

Indeed.

You have to wonder how many times she may have used that unsafe path time and again and her luck ran out. I wonder if she was late or what circumstances caused her to put herself in danger?

I think she was drunk and either thought it was a shortcut or just didn't know where she was going- it's a path to nowhere. I had a similar run-in on the job, I confronted a drunk guy who took the proverbial "wrong left turn at Albuquerque". He was terrified when I bellowed at him to GTFO. I refrained from calling the cops on him- his night was ruined, I didn't want to ruin his life.