Racing a Train: A Personal Victory
Today, despite being off in celebration of MLK Day, I decided to go in to work around 1. On my way to work, while sitting at a stop sign in my neighborhood, i saw a train passing by a few blocks from our house. The train tracks curve around the city in such a manner that I would almost certainly get stopped by that same train as i made my way towards City Parc. On the map below, the blue dot represents my truck at the stop sign, and the train passing to my right. The green line represents the path i traveled to work. As you can see, problems would arise…
Sho Nuff’, i was block-block-blocked by the train. The lights went on when i was no more than 200 yards away from the tracks. The map below shows my truck, stopped at the train tracks, with a black dot. The damn thing passed right in front of me.
No biggie though…i’ll wait my turn. I didn’t hit the Turbo and jump the tracks just before the train arrived…I decided to be patient, assuming that the Universe would later reward me with some good karma, or at least a $5 bill lying on the ground.
But the universe had other plans for me today.
Learn about my foolish decisions
On my way BACK from work, guess what the fuck happened?!?!
TRAIN! GOING BACK THE OTHER WAY!
The map below shows my path BACK to the house, and the train blocking my path. Again, the train came into my field of vision when i was about two hundred yards out. I had to make a decision quick…there was no way in hell i was going to let the Universe fuck me with a train twice in the same day…
Absentmindedly thinking i could somehow outsmart this inanimate steel behemoth, i quickly swerved my truck into the turn lane at the intersection of McKinney and Bell St. The light was green, and i was free and clean as i speedily turned through the intersection. Veering right onto Mingo Road, my new path put me on a parallel course with the train. We were running side-by-side. Eventually, at the intersection of Mingo and Nottingham, I would have to jump the tracks with a right turn…all i had to do was beat the train…
Cop! Slow Down! As i raced down Mingo Road, towards the turn, I saw a cop car perched atop a small hill, just begging me to slip up and exceed the speed limit. As i passed him, he turned and went in the opposite direction. I sped up, and with “Red Morning Light” by Kings of Leon blaring, I started to out-accelerate the train.
At this point, i’d like to acknowledge the danger of the maneuver i was about to pull. I knew it. I knew that thousands of people die every year at the hands of rage-filled train engineers. Hell hath no fury like a scorned freight train, and yet, there i was, speeding down a road, with a train running parallel to me, trying to beat it. Foolish, I know…but hey…fuck it, right?
I’m not gonna get fucked over twice.
I actually passed the train with quite a bit of road to spare. I kept checking over my right shoulder, in my blind spot, to make sure he hadn’t somehow turned on his afterburners to try to beat me to the intersection and maul my puny Silverado 1500. No such thing happened. As i neared the intersection, i tossed off my sunglasses like Maverick or something, and focused my soul on my next move.
The light was green, the road blocks weren’t down, and the train crossing lights weren’t even on yet. I put my blinker on and busted a mean right. As i passed over the tracks, i looked to my right and stared that damn train down, and said, “I don’t think so, buddy.”
Moments later, i pulled into my driveway, and, thinking about the stupidity of what i’d just done, and chuckled. Just a regular Monday for me.
And don’t worry, Mom…there was at least 400 yards between me and that train when i passed over the tracks. But, i won’t lie, i was having visions of this whole thing turning out poorly as i was speeding down Mingo Road…
Glad i could entertain you with the harrowing account of a real-life Train Racer.