a newer one »Sheesh

If only I would listen


A friend of mine is psychic.

Oh, no, not in the sense he can read your mind or tell your future, but in a much better sense. Well, for him, anyway. He's able to sense when the actions he's about to take will result in something unpleasant, when he has no discernable way of knowing.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I know. Sure, I can accurately predict if I slam this hammer head down on my hand, my hand is going to hurt a lot and probably break. And I know if I shoot up a syringe of insulin into my leg, I'll go into insulin shock. Sure, these are true and obvious unpleasantries that result from actions I choose to take or not to take.

But, that's not quite the circumstances I'm talking about. I'm talking more like, "This is a small decision in nominally inconsequential to my life. Two days later, it's the difference between joy and despair." I've watched him three times make a choice, retract that choice, then some time later, witness the brilliance of his decisions.

I'm completely sure that Mike will tell me that this friend is just more in tune with his surroundings, that he picks up on subtle clues that most people miss, that he's just blinking. And that very well may be the case.

But, it doesn't make me less interested or fascinated in or jealous of his ability. Especially when he doesn't even know he's doing it: as near as I can tell, he's completely oblivious.

Kinda like David Schmidt's guardian angel. Now that's a long story.

So, I'm driving to the train station today to catch a ride up to the Laughing Squid 10th Anniversary party, meeting up with Messina beforehand to finish up a client project. I am, of course, running late, and leave the house at 2:09 for the train at 2:19.

The drive to the train station takes 7 minutes, but that's a drop-off time, not a "park, pay parking fee, buy train ticket and cross over to the Northbound side of the tracks" time.

Did I mention I was running late?

I hit every red light between my house and the train station. EVERY. SINGLE. FREAKIN'. LIGHT. I was behind the slowest driver EVAR. Okay, not ever. But he was clearly taking in the beautiful Sunnyvale scenery, picking his nose, and pondering which nostril to spelunk on his drive.

If he had actually driven the speed limit, I would have made every light. Instead, I missed each and every single light. Every one was red. Every one.

Yes, I'm complaining. Best stop right now.

After the sixth light, out of seven, I couldn't help but wonder if these were signs to which I should pay attention. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I don't believe in an all powerful entity that actually pays attention to single individuals and their mad dash to train stations.

But every light?

Every single light?

Behind people who really could drive the speed limit so that both of us could catch all the lights.

Eh. Maybe these are the not-so-subtle signals that my friend has learned to pick up on and subsequently act upon. He'd probably start wondering about things after the fourth red light, thinking, eh, maybe he didn't really want to go, or didn't really need to catch this train, or you know what, maybe today would be a great day to stay in bed sleeping all day.

I made the train. Barely. I was between the two pedestrian-don't-cross gates just as the train came into view and the bells went off and the gates started dropping. The only way to cut it closer was to be on the wrong side of those gates when the train showed up.

So, heh, 20 seconds to spare!