Wednesday, July 9, 2008

BART magic

Some of you know that I have just moved to Contra Costa county, which is a completely different world from Alameda County, I tell you what. Hotter, for one thing, the benefit of which is I have a tomato plant growing on my deck, and it will probably produce tomatoes even.

It also takes quite a bit longer to get to A's games (I mean, let's get to the important stuff), as I found out on Monday when my parents gave me a ticket. Socially conscious Californian that I am, I was determined to take BART to the game. It required a transfer at MacArthur, but they schedule the trains so you can just walk across the platform and get on the train you need. Very handy, but still about an hour from one end to the other.

I'd never been to the North Concord BART station before and I couldn't believe how far it was from my apartment. The train was supposed to arrive (I thought) at 5:53 and I dashed up the escalator right in time, only to find that it was due to arrive at 5:57. Fine by me.

The ride in was uneventful, but wonderful. I'd never taken that BART route before and I decided not to read as I usually do on BART, but instead to look out the windows at the brown hills. They ought to be ugly, being completely dry and brown, but something about the way they fold makes them seem soft and lovely. It all changes past the Caldecott tunnel when Alameda County's more urban and flatter terrain takes over. It grew familiar and suddenly mundane as I reached the Colisseum just in time to get beef tacos before the game started.

But on the way home, things got magical. Our train, the Richmond train, was pulling into MacArthur at the same time as the train I needed to take, and looking across at the other train in the night, it appeared to be floating in midair with the lit windows showing where the train was hovering. We arrived at the station and I switched trains and I felt like we were flying off into the night.

When I reached the North Concord BART station, it looked completely different. There was a sign saying, "Use this escalator at night," which might have explained why we had to go up to a concourse instead of down as I remembered. Then I didn't have enough fare on my card, which was weird, but I had been in a hurry when I bought my ticket so I might have miscalculated. Then I couldn't find my car. Was there another parking lot?

Yes, you have figured it out. I had been at a different station, which explains so many things.

The thing about it was that arriving at the wrong station only added to the magical feel of the evening. It was surreal and wonderful. Who needs magic when there are experiences like this to be had every day?

No comments: