Someone else lost their life..
Today, I was taking Mujasi to San Francisco Airport so we could catch a plane to Atlanta, where I would deliver him to his mom, pick up my truck, and begin my 65th birthday Joiyssey.
I will be turning 65 in June and I started a tradition when I saw I was going to make it to my 60th birthday - a birthday neither my mother nor my sister made it to, because of breast cancer. So I celebrated this my cancer-free accomplishment and went on my first "Joiyssey", which is a play on "Odyssey", as my last name is "Joi" and I'm going on a journey.
For the year prior to my 60th birthday, I worked on building a self-sustainable camper inside half of my truck and converted my engine to run on wvo, which is waste veggie oil. Then I headed across the border into Mexico, where I spent 4 months traveling around that whole country.
Originally this year, I had intended to stay on the road after the Marissa's hearing January 27th and begin my joiyssey but I decided to fly home to California instead for a few months and now, today, I'm ready to embark on this exciting journey.
I'm not sure exactly where this 65th birthday Joiyssey will take me but I do know for sure that I want to go to Womonwrites in Georgia and to the 40th Michigan Womyn's Music Festival or Michfest.
There are also nationwide protests and actions for Black Lives Matter that I intend to go to, and against mass incarceration, climate change, the pipeline.
And of course, there's my book "But What Can I Do?" that I've been working on now for a couple of years. I intend to finish it while I'm on the road.
Jasi & I had been trying to catch a plane to Atlanta for a good week now. We ended up going to the airport in the beginning and having to return home because there were no flights that had seats for us - we fly stand-by.
But today, the flights look really good, better than all week. Because I'm going on my Joiyssey, I've some heavy bags with my organic staples that I can't really buy or at least as cheaply as I can buy in the Bay. So we have a lot of baggage, Mujasi & I.
And we're walking the 1.2 (downhill) miles to the BART - well, I'm walking, Mujasi is riding his scooter. About half-way to the BART when he decides he doesn't want to carry anything. I cannot force myself to lug another bag, so I leave him in the dust, thinking he'll get over himself, grab his bag of mostly toys, and get on with it.
I wait around the corner in the shade of a restaurant on Shattuck listening for the wheels of his scooter - which never materialize. I peek around the corner & see him almost 2 blocks up where I left him, sitting on the sidewalk, crying to two worried looking adults attempting to rescue him, I'm sure. I call for him to get in gear while he looks down the sidewalk with the biggest injured look on his face.
He finally gets up - his adults have continued on their way - and makes it down the block and eventually to the BART, but not without me having to bribe him with promises of treats! It is very hot today and he really doesn't want to catch a plane back to Atlanta, but still, we have a plane to catch.
We get to the station and on the BART with exactly one hour to spare! YEAH!!! I'm so relieved to put down all our heavy bags and sit.
Only, suddenly, after the train heads into the tunnel to take us into San Francisco, it slows way down, when it should be speeding way up. We stop in the tunnel and the BART conductor tells us that no BART trains are going thru San Francisco and will not be for probably a few hours.
This does NOT work well with our schedule. We have a plane to catch - and Tessie will be VERY unhappy if Jasi doesn't make it back today.
We start hearing whispers of something bad happening at Civic Center. Usually it is so-called "police action" that slows the trains or temporarily stops them.
This time, we're hearing that someone jumped in front of the train in front of us and ended his life.
I try hard to shield Jasi from this news. He is busy playing with his race cars and is not really paying that much attention - I hope - to the whispers.
We get out at Embarcadero, maneuver around tons of police and riders, and approach the BART agent to find out more information.
She is ranting and raving about the inconsiderate man that just had to jump now and inconvenience everyone else. I'm further shocked but I realize she might be in shock as well, and different folks deal with the awfulness of this suicide shock differently.
But I am trying to prevent my grandchild from knowing why we are not continuing on BART and why we are looking for a MUNI - altho he loves MUNI.
No, no BART trains will be passing thru San Francisco for at least a few hours; no she doesn't know of any buses that will take us to the airport; and no she doesn't know if Muni is still going thru the city. And no, she doesn't know how far this way the BART trains are coming but she thinks they're turning around at 24th St, not good news for us.
I decide to try to find a MUNI that will help us get to the ariport, or at least to 24th St to get BART again. The MUNI person told me to take the M train to the Glen Park BART station, the closest station a MUNI comes to.
So off Jasi & I go - along with tons of other riders - to catch the MUNI, which happens to be at the track when we get off the escalator.
We rush & jump inside the doors just on time! And off we go, getting seats even. I get up to look at the MUNI map, as I'm not familiar with this line. I see quickly that we are on the wrong MUNI - it will take us to the BART but the long way around San Francisco. I see another MUNI that is much faster.
I call for Jasi to get his stuff and race out the door. The minute the door closes, I realize I have jumped off the train, leaving my heavy computer bag sitting on the seat where I dumped it.
I attempted to get the police officer to call ahead to the next stop and alert the police exactly where it is so they could grab it for me. He refused, but directed me upstairs to the MUNI agent. When I got up there, she first told me there was nothing she could do, they were on lock down - until that moment I hadn't even realized we got out at the Civic Center stop, where all the police and emergency workers are attempting to deal with all the repercussions of this suicide.
I told her that I realize she -and the entire station - was in crisis but I had my own crisis going on. Not only was my laptop in this bag, but so was Jasi's portable DVD player, my eyeglasses, but worst of all, my cash for this Joiyssey that I am about to embark on.
I had some insurance money left from the vandalism to my truck in Illinois, and I'd been scrimping and saving. Now it was racing towards the next station and beyond without me.