September 23, 2011: Meghan Siroky

September 23, 2011: Meghan Siroky

Woke up early but missed my bus.

It’s 6:36 am. The sound of traveling is amplified in the morning. Clicking bike wheels, screeching buses, motorcycles, a helicopter. The noisy comings and goings are Chicago’s involuntary inhalations and exhalations—the city’s respiratory system. It’s vital, cyclical and (somewhat) reliable.

On my northbound train to Howard, there’s a man with a backwards baseball hat and a Big Gulp. It’s 7 am. (I’m suddenly jealous of his beverage.) He makes a call and greets the recipient with “What’s up biddy?” For the next 5 minutes, he tries to explain to the caller what “biddy” means. (I learned a lot today.) As we pass the Wilson stop, there’s a woman with a muddy red coat holding a Solo cup with a spoon in it. She asks passersby for something. (I tell myself she probably asked for ice cream to go with her spoon.) Between Loyola and Morse, the train rides sideways on such a severe slant that I’m convinced we might slip off the tracks. (It wouldn’t surprise anyone.) At Jarvis, a few people sprint onto the train, slipping in just before the doors close. As they gasp for air, they smile. At Howard, there’s a convincing transgender dressed in nurse scrubs. Our eyes lock for a second before she steps on the train.

On the purple line, my train lurches forward with the sudden rumble of a belch. A man’s bag is halfway onto the seat next to him, but I sit anyways. His moustache and leather hat are intimidating. (Instead of clearing my throat, I tell myself I’m okay with half of a seat.) A girl winds handwraps around her hands, and there’s punching bags at her feet. It’s not until now that I notice her biceps are jacked.

On my commute home, there’s a newspaper wedged between the seat and the window. I leave my paper on purpose sometimes for others to read. (It makes me feel like I’m giving back.) I can see the Willis Tower off in the distance and I feel like plucking it from the skyline and putting it in my pocket. When I’m finally home, I release a huge sigh.

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About the author: Meghan Siroky (@Siroks) is a bona fide ginger who lives in Wrigleyville. And she’s sort of a laugh slut.

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