I’ve set aside this afternoon to sell stuff on ebay, so I’ll keep this short and boring.
Yesterday I was supposed to go to my family reunion in White Rock. The night before I made arrangements with my brother to pick me up at the King George skystrain station (the end of the line in Surrey) at about 3ish.
I was about 20 minutes late out the door, and the bus took about 20 minutes longer than I anticipated, so I was almost an hour late. Merrick is not there. He has a cell phone, but it’s long distance even from Surrey as he lives in Harrison, so I figure I’ll look around a bit before I call him. I walk around the adjacent parking lot. I think “maybe he got lost and doesn’t remember where the station is, or he went to the wrong one” so I go to the nearest intersection to get the address. The nearest intersection has no signs, so I go to the next one. I write it down on my hand. I come back and make a call. INSERT $1.95 TO COMPLETE THE CALL. I brought 50 cents in change beyond what I’d need to get back home on transit after the family reunion. I’ll get more change at the tiny convenience store inside the station. It’s closed. I spend my $2 that will get me home. I’ll just have to borrow it off of someone or find another store around here. When I call – it’s busy. I get my change back from the phone. I go back to the parking lot and read my book (Mike Nelson’s “Death Rat” – I couldn’t find “Sirens of Titan” before I left and I didn’t have time to dig around) for a few minutes. I go back and call again. Still busy.
Third time’s the charm:
“There was a big accident just outside of Chilliwack and they closed the highway,” Merrick says. “I tried to take the backroads but so is everyone else and it didn’t work out. Mom says that they just missed it.” He starts to tell me more about the accident but I know that I only have so much time for my $1.95 so I get to the point – “are you still coming?”
“Can you try to call Mom and see if somebody else can come pick me up?”
“I’ll have to wait for her to call me back because I don’t have their number”
PLEASE INSERT TEN CENTS TO CONTINUE THIS CALL.
I don’t have a dime – I insert a quarter for another couple of minutes.
“OK well do your best. It’s 4:08 right now – I guess I’ll wait here until 5. If nobody comes I’ll just go home.”
I sit down and make good progress on my book. 5pm passes. I wait another 20 minutes just in case. Every time a car comes by I look closely to see if anyone I recognize the occupants. It’s been so long since I’ve seen most of my relatives that this is actually a concern. I walk over to a cab – “Can you give me an estimate on how much it would cost to get to the peace arch?”
“About $25” the cabbie has to confer with the three other cabbies in his car.
“OK thanks.” I wonder if Andria – the only person I know who lives in Surrey – would be willing to help me out if she’s available. Damn, I have her number in my phonebook at home, I haven’t written it down in my wallet yet. I’ll have to remember to do that when I get home. (I do.) Anyway she’s probably working or busy.
I use a bill to buy another transit transfer. The machine gives me change, so I decide to give Merrick another call. He hasn’t heard from anyone, but his cell phone has been flaky.
I get on the skytrain and go home.
When I get home I remember: Oh yeah! Anghold is having her Scrabble tournament tonight (which I didn’t plan on attending because of the reunion)! I call James – he’s already there. As you can imagine I don’t feel like getting back on the buses. More importantly, I’ve got bucketloads of work to do, so I stay home and do it.