You ever see a bigger group of fucks? These people are some real assholes. In fact they should just change the name to THE ASSHOLE TRAIN EXPRESS FOR TOTAL ASSHOLES.
Most of the people aren’t assholes. But the assholes get most of the attention. Assholes.
Anyway, there they go up the stairs to their seats and their small talk and loud radios. They crinkle their newpapers in the mornings and call loved ones and let us all know what they want on their pizzas in the evenings. They read porn on their e-readers and snore themselves to death. They cross their arms and close their eyes and pass gas.
There’s one woman who waits with me on the train platform in the morning every day who I can identify by the smell of her hairspray. I absolutely choke on it. It fills my nostrils and transports me back to when I used to use a shitload of Rave to keep my mullet fucking awesome. Some days she doesn’t just wait with me on the platform. Some days she sits right goddamn next to me. I call those my lucky days.
Right now, there’s a group of teenage boys all sitting in a row watching some video on a smartphone. One of them is wearing a knit hat and dark sunglasses. It’s 6pm in August.
All right ladies, you might want to tune out, maybe skip the next couple of paragraphs, because it’s about to get all misogynist up in here.
Women do nothing alone. All women. I don’t care if you can prove me wrong. My opinion is the only truth I care to know. And this is especially true when it comes to commuting. There are several groups of ladies who consistently travel in what I call “commuter clots.” They block the arterial flow of pedestrian traffic because one of them, who is entirely free from the need to inhale, will just not stop talking. And her friends form a listening cluster around this woman to collect this verbal gold, ingest this auditory honey as it drips from her mouth. Don’t mind me, ladies!
Once I had this woman, yell at me because my radio was really loud. She berated me in front of everyone because of an apparent condition that must make her a bitch. But I’m not a good arguer. I’m more of an after-the-fact ranter. So I didn’t tell her that even with my music plugged directly into my ear-holes I could still hear her bullshit with her doughy friend about the job she hates. I couldn’t tell her this, because I wanted to speak it in punches.
I love new riders on the Metra. They stand randomly on the platform ignoring the groups huddled at regular intervals along the track. Like we don’t know what the fuck we’re standing there for. And when the train pulls up, and the doors line up exactly with these groups of waiting people, these newbie asshats panic and scramble to find a portal, a door, ANY entry into this benevolent metal snake that promises to carry them in its belly all the way downtown. When they do stumble up the steps with their eyes all a-bulging, they flail about, looking for seats like there’s a wrong seat to take.
There’s this one Polish guy who is just a bundle of nervous energy. I call him Shaky. That’s what we used to call all the shaky Polish customers on South Water Market. They’d come in all Polish and nervous, demanding their fruit. It’s still okay to make fun of the Polish right? I mean, we’re good with that, am I wrong? I’m white, if that matters. Anway, Shaky always comes on the train sweating his ass off and gasping in big mouthfuls of air as he pushes his way through to get to a seat. Even if he’s early to the train. Doesn’t matter—he’s always in a rush like the doors were closing and he just made the train. Once we get to his stop, it’s the same deal: he gets off in a huff, like he forgot it was his stop. I can’t stand Shaky.
And in the morning when my tolerance for humans is at an insane low, the Metra dumps me off in the clusterfuck known as Union Station. Have you ever been to this place? Holy shit! It’s like a goddamn sleepwalker convention in here. Did a bomb just go off? Cause everyone is just sort of walking around in a daze. Like they’re stunned and in shock. YOU’RE AT UNION STATION! HELLO! I swear, you’ll never see a larger collection of jackwagons.
And then we have to go and spring moving stairs on them. Who thought of that? For real, moving stairs.When everyone gets to the escalator, they divide into two groups of assholes:
1. Those who just rolled up out of Victorian England and have never had to contend with such a contraption before. “What manner of beast is this? Must I ride on this silver serpent’s back?! Howsoever?!”
2. Otherwise able-bodied asshats who are looking to have every muscle in their bodies atrophy. “But golly, it sure is nice to not have to use these legs anymore! Always was considering getting them amputated so I wouldn’t have to amble around on these flesh stalks anymore!”
It’s an escalator. It was built to move massive amounts of people quicker, not lazier. That’s why you’re supposed to stand on the right side and walk on the left. I promise you, they work the same as regular stairs if you’ll just lift your goddamn feet. But oh look, here comes a commuter clot. They give no shits about the people around them. Their one master storyteller has them in a trance-like state as she weaves her tales of poorly designed wedding invitations. And they’ve decided to completely choke off the escalator. No one walks today.
And once you get to the end of the ride, oh man, you’d think people were being fed into a wood-chipper. YOU’RE GETTING OFF AN ESCALTOR, NOT LANDING A GODDAMN PLANE! Seriously, what’s with all the terror?!
There are also the squat-waddlers. With that one short arm that sticks straight out from their body and wags to counterbalance their stride. If you are not picturing this, then never mind.
I am such an assclown.
This post was written entirely on the Metra.