The night sky, black as obsidian, weighs on me as I walk from the Mattress Factory to the Link stop at Union Station. After a night of copy editing, my eyes feel saturated with tiredness from looking at a computer screen. As I near the big staircase overlooking Pacific Avenue, I hear the hovering sound and ringing chime of the Link. I hasten my gait, but I see the train stopped at Union Station, its yellow lights flickering on its side. In my mind, I curse Fate. I always just miss the train at the last second.
How long has this been happening? Every day and night since the summer!
For the most part, the Link has two run schedules during weekdays. During the day, it runs every 12 minutes with two trains in operation. After 8 p.m., it runs every 24 minutes using only one train. It seems infrequent at times. But when I see the train ready to leave while I am still across the street, I feel as if Fate mocks me, the electric sound of the Link its ridiculing laugh.
I blame my law-abiding neurosis as well. At night, there is little traffic, yet I still wait for the pedestrian signal to change from a red face-palm to a white artist’s dummy in walking profile. I bang the crosswalk button. All I hear is the robotic “Wait” from the voice-box. That’s all I need: a crosswalk machine admonishing me for my impatience.
I’m neurotically romantic as well. I always brood about finding my soul mate. What if I had just missed my soul mate on the Link? I am reminded of a commercial in which the guy is at a train station and sees a pretty girl in the window of a train. The guy, at the very last minute, changes his departure time with his cell phone, gets on the train and sits next to the girl, and they smile.
I want I moment like that. Especially on the Link, since it’s free – for now. But I’m cursed because the Link shows up when I’m at the front stairway of the university across the street from Union Station.
So, to my imaginary girlfriend I say this: My love, oh my sweet love! Let not the infrequency of the Link derail any possible true blossom of love.