I walked up and down 16th Street for ten minutes, passing Skylark twice before I finally saw it and joined the small group of people. I was greeted with a "Holy shit!" from Rob G., who didn't even know I was out here (and I don't think I'd known he was out here until I was browsing the Facebook group). By the time I had arrived, however, the group was ready to migrate toward burritos, so we migrated to Mariachi's on Valencia, where we discussed the poor structural integrity of our burritos, the efficiency of gasoline, and the effects of an earthquake on the TransBay Tube. It was very much a Rice conversation.
Once we dispersed, I gave harriettheelf a call since it was only ten, and I wanted to make the most of my time. She was coming back from an engagement party, so I wandered around the Mission for a half hour or so, calling people to no avail until I reached a drunk ivyisgilgamesh.
I had to let Ivy go once Rachel arrived, though, and we went back to her apartment so she could change into her pajamas. As she changed, I noticed that she had a tape (a tape!) of 10 Things I Hate About You, which I had been wanting to watch again. It was around 10:37, and the movie was...97 minutes. The last train was around 12:30 or something, so that worked just fine. She got us some water while I forwarded (forwarded!) through the previews.
10 Things I Hate About You is still a great movie, for the record. And Larisa Oleynik is still OMG ADORABLE. Come back, Alex Mack!
Letters to Cleo magically ended up on the roof around 12:17 or so; I told Rachel I needed to head to the BART station. She wanted to check when the next train was so I knew how long I would be waiting, but I didn't care. I would go, and I would wait. The time "12:34" stuck in my head for some reason; that seemed a good time for the last train to be. I sounded like I had experience with this, and I had indeed taken past-midnight trains back home on multiple occasions. She told me to call her if I didn't make it; I said I'd make it.
I left the apartment and walked down 17th to...Dolores? This didn't seem right. I turned left and realized that, no, it definitely wasn't right, and also...I was coming up on 18th, so I had made two wrong turns in a row. I quickly backtracked and made my way to 16th and Mission.
I went through the turnstiles and down to the trains. 12:27, the board said. Plenty of time. A voice announced the next Millbrae train. I patiently watched the board to find out how long I'd be waiting for my train. But...it kept showing ads. I began to worry. They wouldn't have let me down here if there were no East Bay trains, would they?
I looked at the schedule board. And, unless I was missing something, it was saying, over and over and over, that the last train to Pittsburg/Bay Point had left at...12:16. A woman came down the stairs and headed toward the East Bay trains, wondering aloud if the trains were still going. I answered that the ones going the other way appeared to go until past one o'clock, but the last East Bay train was gone. "What is with this city?" she lamented. "Why would they shut it down so early?"
I walked up the stairs and was going to approach the man at the booth to confirm that there were no East Bay trains when I saw on the booth, plain as day, a sign telling me the times of all the last trains. Defeated, I went back through the turnstiles. Which deducted $4.65 from my card. This is what Rachel's friend called the Stupid Tax. How much fucking money have I lost to being an idiot? I don't know anymore.
I called Rachel. After several rings, she picked up, thankfully. She was preparing the couch. I walked back to her apartment. On the way, I realized one reason I had thought the last train was at a later time was because I was used to taking the late train from Montgomery, which was the same train that leaves 16th and Mission at 12:16 but leaves Montgomery several minutes later. Why don't we have those damn superfast trains on magnets, just running all night? Geez.
At Rachel's apartment, I discovered that her couch had actually turned itself into a bed. The power of furniture! She had even brought me pajamas, and while I was initially going to sleep in my jeans, I decided pajamas would be more comfy. I changed and curled into bed.
She asked if I wanted to brush my teeth. I said I...didn't have a brush. But she let me borrow hers because that's what friends are for.
I then remembered about my car in the Macarthur parking lot, which was not allowed to be parked there overnight. I hoped I wouldn't get a ticket or be towed. I set my alarm for 6:00 so that I could get back as early as possible and beat the BART cops to noticing.
This morning, I sneaked out as quietly as I could and took an early train home. It reminded me of many mornings at Rice walking back across campus from Jones to Hanszen.
My car was still there and not ticketed, thankfully. I drove home and went straight to bed.
The night had begun with my forgetting to tighten my pasta cooker and pouring my first batch of spaghetti into the sink. There's a reason I've used this tag fifteen times.