Friday, April 27, 2007

My Baby Takes The Morning Train...

The fun thing about having a nearby Rail Runner stop is counting the cars in the parking lot. It's been a week now and the "Bernalillo County/International Sunport" stop has averaged right at five cars every morning and afternoon at the times I have driven by belching out CO2. Pretty much exactly five cars, every time. Five cars surrounded by acres of unfilled parking lot spaces and a huge shiny bright Cyclone fence.

But these five cars (and drivers) are the Vanguard. One almost wants to put little Apollo 11 astronaut uniform badges on the vehicles, signifying that these folks have made one small stop for man, one giant leap for South Valley traffic.

At least that's the idea, and we SVers aren't even that mad the stop is called the "Bernalillo County/International Sunport" instead of "South Valley". Called "Sunport" even if its miles away from the damn thing and few, if any, people will be using the stop to make their flights any time in the next decade or so.

The stop is sparkly new. The signage is real pretty in that artistic way that pleases the eye even if the eye can't really read anything on the super-skinny signs due to the high level of artiness and a writing font that is largely illegible.

The stop has some really lovely glass wall sculptures of the type called "bas relief" I think, but I admit I don't know much about such things. Maybe they are etchings or embossed things or something that starts with the letter "E". Anyway, they are pretty, reflecting the early morning light beautifully as I drive by them along Second Street emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

My friends tell me that I have a fixation with public transportation, trains and subways especially. My wife uses a coarser term to describe my attraction to these things, and if I had been born in England I most surely would have become a "trainspotter" (no, not a heroin addict in Edinburgh, but a geek who sits for hours waiting for trains to go by and knows all the engine model numbers, etc.). My recent trip to Munich and Prague contained many, many gratuitous trips using the subway, some in which I simply got on the subway, rode to the last stop, then immediately got on the return subway and went right back to where I started.

So, I'm excited that next week I will be able to actually stop driving by the Rail Runner, and become a nouveau ABQ public transport statistic. My wife will "drop me off at the train", perhaps using some of the coarse language she uses to describe my fascination with trains/subways. I will stand along the pretty glass sculptural wall and wait for the train to arrive. Me and the escaped inhabitants of those five cars in the large parking lot. We will stand proudly, feeling morally superior to the cars and drivers hurtling down Second Street spewing CO2. The train will arrive and I will be carried the approximate four miles to the Alvarado. During those four miles viewing scenic junkyards, graffiti-strewn corrugated aluminum chicken coops and the occasional open pasture I will revel in the special feeling that is taking the train to work. At least it's a special feeling to me. Maybe I should replace the word "special" with the word "twisted".

Then it will be over, I'll look for that 11 Lomas bus and another half-hour or so later I'll be at work. Now that I think about it again, I don't know if I'll be taking the Rail Runner to work more than this once. Twice maybe. Two very special times, or twisted...depending on how you look at it.

1 comment:

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