01 January, 2010

The canoe lane

7 June 2005

R. Linda:

Today a fellow reporter and I went across town to do some leg work on a story. We pulled into traffic that was going at a clip, cabbies cutting us off nearly causing all types of accidents, but somehow we survived all the way to the entrance of the Three Points Tunnel. There it slowed to a stop, then a crawl, then a stop. This went on for 45 fecking minutes. There is no other way across town, but through the new tunnel. So we waited.

I noticed that the traffic coming from the opposite direction was moving a tad faster, and each car looked as if it had come out of a car wash. I looked up and the sky be a bright blue, not a cloud in it. I looked again, and sure enough each card looked to be sopping wet. I shrugged thinking it must be raining on the other side of the city.

As we got farther down to the beginning of the tunnel, I see this flood of water and so does me associate Joe. We both looked at it as we pulled in slowly behind the car in front and we said nothing, each with his own thoughts, then at the same time our thoughts turned to the same vexing question. He turned to me and said, "Gabe, what's all that water?"

Now begorrah me, we both knew that all the new Big Dig tunnels were leaking water, and we knew that the Gov was furious over it, and we knew that the construction crews have been down day and night trying to fix the leaky things, and we knew they were not successful, because as they'd shore up one leak, two more would spring up  someplace else. The Gov fired the construction company, and the city be suing them, and we knew this. The new construction company was sighting faulty workmanship and telling anyone who would listen, that the tunnels cannot be fixed, but the drainage system is working, thereby the tunnels are "safe."

Both of us had been mostly through the Ted Williams Tunnel and sometimes you see some water in spots and other times you don't, but who knew the Three Points was the worst of all?

"I feel like a lemming going toward the cliffs. I know I should turn around, but I am still going forward." Joe said the uneasiness evident in his tone.

Joe became more visibly uncomfortable as we were 100 yards in and the water was rushing and deeper on our left. To make him feel better, I made a joke of it and told him that was the canoe lane for those who like to boat on through. He gave a hint of nervous laughter and put his focus on looking directly ahead, not to his left, but that turned out to be a hard thing to accomplish, for as we got deeper into the tunnel, the wider the water got until we were driving in it.

"I hope I don't lose my brakes," said he.

I be thinking, I hope we don't met a freighter coming this way.

Several moments went by and I couldn't keep the thought to  meself and blurt it out, and he turned to me and said, "Freighter hell, I think cruse ship be more like it."

Eventually, we got to the other side we did, thanking all the powers that be for keeping us from drowning. Only problem we have is returning and thinking by late afternoon the tide will be in and oh begorrah us, we will need scuba equipment.

Never in me life have I seen leaks the size of these. Water gushing out of the walls like open fire hydrants. Once we got to our destination, it was hard to concentrate on tracking down facts for a story that we were both silently voicing to ourselves might not see the light of day if we got drowned in a car tunnel.

So here we be in the offices across town, map out looking for another way to get back. I did mention an inflatable raft and a snorkel for both of us to be bought before we head back. If you don' ever hear from me again, you'll know we both drowned in the tunnel.


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