There were lots of things I could have done Saturday. First off, I was coming off the tail end of a low-grade cold / long workweek, just bone tired and ready to take it easy over the weekend.
And there was that new Steven King novel, Under the Dome, which the library just sent. Things are heating up in this corrupt Maine town trapped under a mysterious force field.
And there is that Occupy Orlando march going on downtown. Regardless of what you think of them (I’m certainly not a fan of corporate turdworms), it would be an easy bike ride to get to and fun to watch (and maybe even march in – never done that before).
But instead, I’m rolling a sorted cut out of the Cocoa beach yards, rumbling my way south to the industrial spurs of Rockledge and Bonaventure. I’ve left Cocoa Yard a lot cleaner than when I started – just in time too, since that northbound came in and slicked up the cut I’d set out. But I can tell I’ve got lots to do on that punky-short siding at Bonaventure, lots of begging the dispatcher for popping onto the main. But that’s the game – doing your job so well nobody else realizes it, getting all those cars in all the right spots, and getting the pickups pushed back up to Cocoa and sorted before finding another job..
And it’s a blast. Wouldn’t miss one of Ken’s sessions for the world.
Was in the shower considering the session and a curious realization popped into my head. Those other times I dispatched, I remember local 915 (I think that was the number of the Bonaventure local) nagging me for clearance, onto the main, clear of the main. Like Oliver Twist: “Please, Sir, I’d like more track and time”. Sigh. I always wondered what the problem was but kept my lip shut. Who am I to judge?
Well, like, who indeed, especially once I’m actually in the cab, with a bunch of unsorted car cards in my hand, jumbled freight cars in the sidings, still trying to sort out the turnout controls and where the phone is when suddenly trains are rolling past (“where did my ten minute head start go?”). And over in Bonaventure, pulling in and finding the tail end of my train is hanging out onto the main (incentive to spot one car very, very quickly).
So, yeah, next time I’m up in the office, I’m giving the Cocoa crew lots of elbow room.