I moved to Massachusetts in 1988, one year after returning from Israel. Garry and I already had a “thing” and I thought he would collapse from exhaustion if he kept driving back and forth every weekend or two from Boston to Long Island.
With the help of friends (bless you), I found a good job not far from Boston. It was the 1980s and Massachusetts was blooming with high-tech companies, all of which would soon move out to the west coast. But for one decade, Massachusetts had full employment and great salaries. We were very optimistic.
I lived on my own for a year, then bought a small condo in Lynn (big mistake, but to be fair, everyone believed the area was going to improve) … until G.E. closed and put everyone out of work.
Garry and I got more serious, so I rented my little condo and Garry and I got a beautiful place on the Charles River just a few blocks from Channel 7. Not close to where I worked, but at least I was commuting the wrong way. Now, there IS no wrong way. Commuters go every which way.
I thought I could take the train to work … but I had irregular hours and getting to the station to get the train was not simple and required at least one bus and the underground. So I drove. I owned one of the original Hyundais. It had a huge engine — 48 liters! I bought it with a manual transmission. Even so, to get it to move you had to open a door and push with your foot. I’m pretty sure one of our small dogs could have beat it on flat ground and do even better up a hill!
I moved in with Garry and in the course of a year, we agreed to marry. He had never married. I was a two-time loser. Well, really, a one-time loser and a one-time giver-upper. For the first couple of years in Boston, we had very little snow. I was surprised but Garry just smirked. He knew it would be back. It always came back.
That was when I discovered that the trains in Boston derail when you look at them cross-eyed. This is because no mayor or other legal body had ever been willing to spend the money to fix the trains. Every year, the rails would freeze, the trains would derail, every commuter in Boston would complain loudly and Garry and his TV cohorts would cover the same story. Again.
That was more than 30 years ago. No one has fixed the trains. No one has replaced the tracks. Except these days, the rails are so bad that the trains derail all year round. You don’t need to wait for snow. They derail and crash anyway. We don’t have those modern software packages that warn trains of other oncoming trains or bad rails or ice on the tracks.
Every year, they hire a new transportation manager and fire him or her in the spring. Because everyone is cross and angry about the trains not running. In 2019, the run a lot worse than they did in 1988 and although in theory, they are trying to fix (some of) them, they have left them to disintegrate for so long, it will take a huge amount of money and time to get them to work like “real” trains.
Derail? That’s the nickname for our transport system.
And tank trap is the nickname for the roads the cars use.