Thursday, September 18, 2008

#24 I Hate the El

I know all you esteemed readers have been lost without my weekly bouts of hatred, but I had a busy summer to attend to.  I had hours of sleep to catch up on, as my three-hour naps during the school year were simply not cutting it.  I also explored my adventurous side, roughing it Sarah Palin style (my icon), in the Alaskan Wilderness.  I believe that this topic is a great place to segue into the fall season, as I recently moved to the city, and the El has become my daily enemy.

At first it seems ideal, a $2 train ride wherever you want to go in Chicago, however those two bucks come at a much higher price.  A few days ago, I was lucky enough to take the red line home after an strenuous day at the office.  After sitting at a desk all day reading People Magazine and stuffing my face with leftover CPK, all I wanted was a nice quiet train ride home. Unfortunately, downtown the red line becomes a subway, aka an underground mental institution.  To my left, an overweight black woman belting out a hymn about the lord her savior.  To my right, a white man with one tooth (silver-- classy), mumbling about the government tracking him down.  Finally, my train came and I breathed a sigh of relief, at least I was safe from being pushed onto the tracks by one of these unstable public transportationites.

The relief came too soon, as there was no where for me to sit and I was forced to cling to the rail for my life as the train rattled back and forth.  I bumped into Creeper #1, an overly smiley Mexican man who smells like rancid lunchmeat.  Luckily, a seat opened up and I made a beeline for it.  Two teenage boys were  listening to rap music and singing along not so quietly, a heinous girl giggled while her pimply faced boyfriend sucked on her neck, and I got a comment or two about the weather from Creeper #2.  I am ready to depart the train early when I remember my dad telling me why he stopped taking the El.  According to Daddy Diamonds, "some gang bangers walked through his train car and demanded money."  Knowing D.D., these "gang bangers"were young kids selling candy for their underprivileged baseball team, but when it comes to paranoia, I know I am not one to judge.  

At last, the train came to a halt, and I ran down the steps two by two, feeling safe when the sunlight finally hit my face.  While this may seem like a dramatic series of events, it really is just a day in the life of a charming young girl trying to navigate the railroad  as best she can. Unfortunately she (me of course), encounters such characters every day and until D.D. agrees to get her a personal driver, Toothless Tommy, Smelly Santiago and Singing Shaniqua, here I come.