To continue my “Missed information” series, here is tale of a journey to nowhere and back.
This tale took place in 2010 or thereabouts, on the GO Train Lake Shore West line.
Beforehand, my son & I met with my wife for lunch or something, which is totally unimportant. Afterwards, father & son, waited at Queen & Yonge for the 501 Queen West Streetcar.
If I were to open a window to the past; on that specific setting I would see the rush hour horde, the packed and delayed streetcars, the standing room only.
I knew the GO Train was close, and much faster than the turtle pace of a streetcar. There are over 200 stops between Queen & Yonge and 10th & Lakeshore West, whereas only four on the GO train line; Union, Exhibition, Mimico and Long Branch. We’d be home quicker!
So, I asked my son, who was in an umbrella stroller for long walks, using ASL, “Do you want to take the train home?” I asked three times, with lots of excitement. He replied “Yes!”
With childlike glee, from both of us, we hauled ass three blocks south, arriving with time to spare! Phew! I bought a ticket, then found the right elevator to the right GO train platform.
Union Station is a massive hub, with many many trains coming and going! Local, provincial, national and international! Whoa! The fact that I was able to get the Lake Shore West GO train, for a Deaf-Blind dad with a three, going on four, toddler, is damn impressive! I double-checked the display board: Lake Shore West. Excitedly I told the boy: “Wow! We made it! We be home soon!” he nodded off shortly after we left station. All the excitement tired him out!
The train was packed full of business execs; Sardines in Boss suits and knock off Gucci shoes. I was the only jean-clad guy, and the only kid under 22 was my son, gently snoring in his blue jogging pants!
After a quick stop at Exhibition, our train picked up speed as it usually does. As it neared Mimico, there wasn’t the usual slowing down, instead, the station passed by in a blur! Why didn’t we stop? I thought as a tiny drop of anxiousness arose in my stomach. Then, as Long Branch zoomed by without even the slighted slowdown, I was a great deal more anxious!
Some thoughts reeling through my head:
- Why didn’t we stop?
- How am I getting home?
- This is the right train! I know it! I saw Lake Shore West! Damn it!
- Where the hell is this train stopping?
- I’m hungry, and the boy is hungrier.
- Why isn’t this damn train stopping!
- Are we going to Hamilton?
- What the duck is happening!
- Duck! Duck! Duck!
- Let me of this Ducking train!
I was obviously, and most likely conspicuously, visibly, upset. Yet the sardines were not at the least conscious to my plight. Their heads were full of problems that were their own; they wouldn’t have noticed a man with a stroller even if he ran over their Gucci shoes!
As I was running out of my mind, and expletives, the train finally slowed down, came to a stop!
I think I must have yelled, or at least said loudly, “Finally” because my boy woke up! He had no idea where we were, neither did I.
As the door opened, there was a stampede, much like Holt Renfrew were to have a flash 90% off sale! The train emptied rapidly, and we were forced to surge with the crowd!
But, I stopped, I had never been to this station, I saw a sign “Port Credit,” which I knew was one stop west from Long Branch. I wasn’t going anywhere, just yet!
I remember asking a few suits for help, who, again, couldn’t be bothered helping a visibly upset and lost man with a toddler. Having just been freed from Sardinedom, their thoughts were getting home, shedding their suits, grabbing a beer, grabbing their partner, having an afterwork lay. They wouldn’t deign to help, but I tried!
Being in a place I hadn’t been before, I first thought of getting a bus back, then a taxi, but couldn’t see the price tag for either, I was in Mississauga! For all I knew, it could cost $124 to get home! I think I had a BlackBerry, but it was not very accessible. I don’t even think I informed my wife I had left Toronto!
Anyways, I did the most logical, yet silliest thing, and got back on the train! I saw that the train destination display said Union!
Great! It will stop at Long Branch! Piece of cake! It will stop! It has to! I excitedly informed the boy, “We be home very soon! Train stop at Long Branch! Phew!”
20 agonizing, nail-biting, minutes later, we are back at Union Station!
We went to nowhere that we’ve been to before, and we returned to our starting point! 10 minutes after that, we’re back at Queen & Yonge waiting for the fabled 501.
I was anxious, upset, frustrated, but my boy, I don’t know what he going through, but at 3.5, he probably had a good time!
2.5 hours later, we are home, we grabbed something for dinner, ate, then played at the splash pad in front of our apartment building.
In retrospect, there was probably an auditory announcement, of which I had no knowledge of, being Deaf, saying Express. Plus, the visual display had Express in smaller print, which I missed, both times. I was also stressed right, so I saw what I needed to see, not the full thing.
Moral: Pay attention to everything!
Now, You pay attention to my blogs! Haha!
Thank you for reading, sharing and liking!
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