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Shevek

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[16 Nov 2008|07:13pm]
The sun is so hot that it hurts to touch my black leather laptop bag. I am perched on a temporary wooden railing, made permanent by apathy, on the northbound platform of Palo Alto station, the southbound platform being closed today. There are no timetables and no train, only road noise, screech and hoot reflecting off the grey office buildings all around.

A giant silver air conditioned train draws a cloud of dust and din into the station. The doors open and it ejects passengers, bicycles and dishevelled flunkeys. In the sudden rush, I climb into the monstrosity. The announcer suggests I swap my half-million-dollar Palo Alto town house for three acres in Redwood City, but I cannot tell whether or not he is joking. Suddenly, I realise I am on the wrong train, so I get off two stops down and wait again. Redwood City isn't much, he wasn't joking.

A kid on a push-scooter races the departing train across the crossing, but the tremendous horn and falling gate discourage anybody else from taking the risk. The gate stays down after the train is gone. The minimum fine for moving my right foot forward another six inches is $281.

...

I get on the southbound train but the air conditioning is noticeably broken. I get off again rapidly. Some people must have no sense of smell; there are still seats in the forward carriages.

...

Later, there was SuperHappyDevHouse.
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