A Story of Bad Luck
Not exactly a story, as in, it’s not made up. This is what happened to me on Friday – a great example of how much bad luck one person can have in one day.
First of all, I had an exam for university on Friday. Not exactly my favorite subject, either, and the weather report predicted soaring temperatures, so I was not in the mood to sit in a stuffed classroom without aircondition and make an exam. But, since I had little choice, I got up early Friday morning to go to university.
That’s when it started. Usually it takes about three hours to get to university (half an hour car ride, two and a half hours train). But the moment I stepped foot on the train, it went wrong. Since it was so hot, people had decided now was an excellent time to go to the beach, go shopping, sightseeing, you name it, so the train was extremely crowded. Cue my phobia for being surrounded by large crowds. I got off at my first stop, and then waited for the next train, which had a half hour delay. Hoping to outrun the delay, I hopped on another train that went to my destiny. Alas, no such luck. The train stopped at the first stop because of a technical error. I had to wait in that train station for forty minutes until a train came that could bring me to university.
I arrived, with fifteen minutes delay, and started walking the three mile route to the auditorium where I had to take my exam. It was extremely hot, my nose allergy played up, and my back was soaking wet (from carrying my backpack filled with notebooks and law books) when I finally reached it. I bought a sandwich for lunch, and, like the gods of luck wanted to throw it in my face how unlucky I’d be today, all my vegetables fell out of the sandwich after two bites.
My mood was already crossing purgatory, and straight on the way to hell.
The exam took about three hours, and luckily, there was aircondition. Which proceeded to make a noise like someone used a drill right next to your ears. Not exactly ideal to stay focused.
Afterward, I went back to the station, hurt my foot, almost fell, but whatever, I made it. Only to find out all trains had a delay of over one hour because of another technical error.
My mood sank to the third circle of hell. I went to buy an iced tea, and the sales person warned me it wouldn’t be cold yet. I picked another drink then, one that was supposedly cold and ended up being lukewarm. Then came the news my train was cancelled, and I had to wait for the next one. Oh, goodie.
I sat down on a bench and was instantly joined by a guy who smoked cigars and a woman with two little kids who took turns screaming their lungs out. Did I mention at this point I had a headache and my head felt like it wanted to explode?
I drank my lukewarm iced tea when I spotted a guy walking by with an icecream. I had no idea where he’d gotten that since there were no ice parlors around. I got up to ask him (and my seat was promptly taken). He replied in French, being very friendly, but the state I was in, I only understood half the words he said. I thanked him and wondered if I should look for the ice parlor or just sit down, and eventually chose to sit down since at this point, it would only be fifteen minutes before my train arrived.
By the time the train arrived, the sun had done a good number on me, I’d downed my iced tea (leaving me only with some lukewarm water and no pennies to buy another drink). I hopped on the train, thanked God for aircondition, and started working on my manuscript.
Half an hour into the train ride, the weather went downhill. Clouds blocked my vision, it turned spooky dark outside (it was six o’clock by then and so dark it looked closer to midnight) and lightning flashed through the sky. Then lightning hit our train. At least, I think it did, because there was a flash, seconds later everything went dark, and the train stopped moving.
There’s something about sitting in the train in the dark, with an alarm blaring that sounds like the one in Silent Hill that makes you feel both scared and inspired to write creepy stories about people stuck in trains during lightning storms. Anyway, it took a good five minutes but the train was moving again and none of my fellow traingoers had turned into a knife-wielding psychopath, so I started to count my blessings.
Another half hour delay happened because a person committed suicide on the track (not our track, but since one track had to be closed down, all other trains got delayed), and I missed my next train, so I had to wait another forty minutes for the next one. When I finally arrived at my destination, I was sweaty, hungry, had the mother of all headaches, thirsty, exhausted and three degrees of angry.
So that’s the story of how I went through a day filled with bad luck. I’m sure we’ve all had our days of bad luck, but this day really felt like the universe conspired against me.
On the upside though (and because I want to end the post on a positive note), all those train hours did translate into a lot of new, fancy, fresh words in my manuscripts. My word count went up from 40k to 57k by the end of last week. This week, we’re in for the final sprint. I estimate it’ll be about 65-70k before I finish the first draft, so that should work in one week. Fingers crossed!