I have to be at work at 9. I like this start time. 8 is okay, but anything earlier is hard, not so much on me, but on those around me. 9 is best. I'm at my peak (which is a decidedly mild slope) at 10 a.m., so I ease right into prime work time when I arrive at 9.
If I walk out the door at 7:50 I can catch the SF bound train at 8:07. It takes me a little under 15 minutes to walk .7 miles (shut up, it's uphill), then I've got 2 minutes to get to the gate, down the stairs and in line to board. After a relaxing ride through Oakland and under the bay I arrive at the Embarcadero BART station about 25 minutes later, then walk the 10 blocks to work. This even allows for a brief stop at one of the many coffee shops selling hot java and croissants that cry, "Buy me, eat me, enjoy a mouthful of bliss even though I cost twice what I should, despite being freshly made. Oh, and you walked here so those 500 calories don't count."
No doubt I'll push this well-timed schedule to its frayed end, later rationalizing that if I sleep in and catch a later train I can still be on time, I just won't be able to be tempted by those seductive sweet rolls. A few more slaps of snooze button and I'll be arriving breathless at work at 9:05, hoping no one notices the coat. I do hope I hold off for a while on this inevitable behavior. I'm enjoying the leisurely walks. And the pastries.
I forgot to say I fell tonight walking down Battery St. after tripping on a piece of raised concrete on the sidewalk. It was one of those long, impossible tumbles that you think will never end, but it does, in a spectacular splat. In this instance my beverage went flying, even turning a few flips for added splash. About 10-12 people stood around me, trying to get to their kids or a cab or their train, and for some reason I expected someone to ask if I was okay. Of course, I was. It was obvious. But no one even stopped. An Asian woman with close cropped hair and thick glasses wandered over to me, squinting, as I picked myself and my bag and my beverage up off the ground. I smiled as she opened her mouth, expecting her to speak, when really she was trying to read the street sign directly over my head.
I stayed on the ground, in the street really, way too long. Walking to the station all I could think about were the lines and the times and the ticket booths that seem so cramped for the employees. It was then I realized why I think about platforms and trains and schedules and transfers. Because the rest of it is so overwhelming, and these first few days have been such a blur. I can't grasp any of it just yet because I am so deep in it. Logistics, oddly for someone like me, brings calm.
It's foreign, this kind of self-comfort, but then again it all is.