For those of you who don't know, I live next to some very active train tracks, by which I mean there are trains coming and going at all hours of the day and night.
The road I take to go to school/work/anywhere parallels those tracks, and at the very end, it curves around and I have to cross those tracks to continue my journey. I can go around, but it takes a lot longer.
So this morning, I come out of my driveway and the front engine of the train is right next to me, barreling down the tracks in the direction that I also need to go.
I think I can beat it. I have about 3 miles between me and the crossing.
The train is going about 50 mph, so I go like 60 (in a 30) but lucky me! There are no slow cars in front of me to block the way! The road is clear and the train is in my dust.
About half a mile before that final crossing is a smaller crossing. I'm almost to that first one, and I am so excited that I am going to beat this train.
Uh oh. Just ahead are two cars going very slowly, and in front of them is a big tractor, holding up the line. I can't pass.
I'm not stressed at this point. I actually think it's kind of funny that the one day I can beat the train is the one day I get stuck behind the tractor at the last minute. I'm just about at that first crossing, and I think maybe I can ditch this tractor and make it across, but the bells start dinging and the beams start lowering.
Oh well. Nice try, anyway. But then again, now we're on the straight part of the road and I can pass the tractor!
I step on the gas. I'm almost at the crossing. The tractor is way behind, but the two or three drivers in front of me do not seem to understand the urgency of the situation. Every second feels like an hour.
Finally, I make it to the crossing. I'm clear. I bump over it. Just behind me the beams lower and the bells ring and the train honks.