I had been carefully planning my move to the new apartment by moving in bits and pieces. I could actually have packed everything up in one trip, which Im gonna have to do anyway when I leave, but this gave me an excuse to visit the apartment a few times before actually moving in.
OK, remember that 70-pound suitcase, the one with the boots? Well, this is my task: bundle up warm, put on the backpack and roll the suitcase two blocks down Rue Rivard to the Laurier station. Negotiate 100 steps down into Laurier and 200 steps back up at Sherbrooke, out of the station, across the street and down to my new house.
First I gotta get into the station. Easier than it sounds. To enter, you swipe your monthly pass (if you have one) through a machine which opens a set of two heavy, air-powered glass doors to enter the actual station. The open door space is about 2 1/2 feet wide.
So, my hands are full, Im bundled up, so I am wider than usual, and the space is JUST wide enough for the suitcase. I stop outside the station, readjust and take out my card. I walk in to the station lobby, position myself in a straight line facing the doors, swipe my card, and hurry forward.
The doors closed on my suitcase behind me like steel jaws. Pushed into an angle, the suitcase was wedged tight, and nothing was moving. Looking up and out of the station, i caught the eye of a woman leaning against a bike rack smoking a cigarette. She looked at me and nodded, as if to say, "Oh right, thats my cue. Be right there." Like BatGirl spotting the BatSignal. She ground her cigarette into the sidewalk with her boot.
Rushing into the lobby, she whipped out her own Secret Monthly BatPass©, and swiped it quickly. Nothing.
"Pull! You gotta pull!" she yelled at me. Um yeah, like I wasnt? Okay, so I pull, and pull......nothing. Now suddenly there are two women standing there, both with black dyed hair, heavy eye makeup, and cigarettes dangling, like rock stars on rescue patrol; as if Joan Jett and her girlfriend were pulling the night shift that Wednesday.
"OK, Let go!" said Joan as she swiped her card again. and just like that, the doors NEXT to mine, swung open. What the ...?
Joan looked at Baby BatGirl, and KaBoom! the doors were open, and my suitcase was through. Then the doors closed again. Joan Jett and Baby BatGirl were gone behind the heavy smoked glass doors, and I remember thinking, as the doors finally swung open, "This is gonna be a pretty good blog item."
And the 200 stairs? Um, there's an escalator.