Wednesday, March 19, 2014

That side

There was a bus and subway strike today so I asked my neighbor if he’d take me to work. Turned out his office moved so he could only drop me at an S-Bahn station on the western edge of the city, where trains from out of town were still running in.

Neither of us knew the slightest about the geography of that part of town and he dropped me at a depot that was admittedly desolate. But I didn’t want to trouble him any more than I already had so I said no worries, I’d figure it out. It was near the station and he said there was a staircase that likely went to the train platforms. 

There was nothing there but wiring, fencing and steel beams and the little abandoned depot. I walked around it and found the staircase, a twisting rusted thing. It was my best possibility. 

The staircase was full of graffiti and pigeon shit and I don’t know why my neighbor’s wild guess that it might go the platform made me think it went to the platform. I got to the top and found myself on a narrow walkway that I soon discovered ran between train tracks, since a train whooped by and nearly took off my coat. I figured I’d keep going. There wasn’t much to go back to. 

It was a hike but finally I saw the end and indeed it seemed to lead to the platform. Unfortunately there was a gate. Nearing the end I hoped the gate was open but didn’t really expect it. I started to think about whether it was climbable, and whether I wanted the people on the platform to watch me with my office clothes and book tote and purse climbing a fence awkwardly and possibly unsuccessfully. Tough shit, I thought. But the latch turned and I made it through. 

On the other side, a sign said “No Public Entry, Access to Train Yard Only,” and even though I came from the no-sign side the first thing I thought of was Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.” 

As I went walking I saw a sign there: 
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing." 
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

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