Thoughts from a Train

Target ad flashes past. Blue line map. Clark/Lake stop.

“Grand and Milwaukee is next,” a generic masculine voice says over the speaker system.

Why do I feel the urge to record this, I wonder to myself. I feel terrified and exhilarated. The train jerks. Long stretch of tunnel-y blackness. It’s amazing how fast these things go. Graffitied lights flash past.

“This is a blue line train to O’Hare,” the omniscient voice says.

Can’t wait for these donuts we’re about to get. Wow, it is so quiet. Probably because the train is so loud.

“This is Chicago and Milwaukee.”

Doors open. Doors close. We shoot forward again. One man is jamming to whatever’s streaming through his headphones on the front of the train. Rock on. The train jerks three times in row, but it’s almost kind of comforting. Granted, I’m the type who likes the feeling of ascending and descending in an airplane, something I’ve come to find many people dislike. Why wouldn’t I like the feeling of flying, though? Even if it regularly comes with a death-defying risk, we might as well enjoy the feeling of it all while it lasts. Come to think of it, that’s much like how I feel on this train.

“Our stop is the next one,” my friend Mariel says to me softly, as if not to startle the quiet, or more likely my early morning writing as she says to me later on.

“This is Damen.”

“No its not,” Mariel says with a laugh to herself. It’s not like I would know.

“Damen is next,” the voice corrects as if it heard Mariel.

We are above ground now. Weird. Snowy. Sunny. Mildly warm. Another train jerk.

“This is Damen.” And it really is this time.


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