ode on a chicago train

20 Apr

Remember back in the day when Grey’s Anatomy wasn’t as wildly fantastical and moronic as it is now, and Dr. McDreamy declared that he had a thing for ferry boats?

Yeah, well, I think I have a thing for Metra trains.

I’ve been splitting my commute time over the past few weeks (not always evenly) between driving and training to and from work, and as I just loaded up my tank with $55 worth of gas, I predict—using my brilliant prediction/deducing skills—that soon training to and from work will win out more often than not.

I see this as a good thing. I find there to be something sweet, almost romantic, and certainly more than a little satisfying about taking the train. The old wooden platform at my work train station reminds me that this train line has been around a lot longer than I have, has shuttled many a Chicagoan for better or worse in and out of the city, each a building block of its past, present and future.

I like the low hum of the train as it speeds along the tracks. I like the clang, clang, clang and the hisssss as the train slows down in its approach to each station, announcing its arrival and departure.

I like the conductors—and not just when they forget to check my ticket, stretching my 10-ride into 11 or 12 rides.

And I like watching the scenes change out my window like I’m looking through a viewfinder, slipping past suburban lawns and then through the ghettos, through the once-ghettos, and into the thick of the city.

So yeah.

I guess you could say I have a thing for Metra trains.


One Response to “ode on a chicago train”

  1. Cassie April 20, 2011 at 10:57 AM #

    I really like Metra. Sure, when there is a delay, sometimes they are not so great at letting you know about it. But, for the most part, they are really on time, which helps me because me and time generally don’t get along.

    Also, I get to read a lot and play a lot of stupid games on my phone during my commute. I love it. I can waste that time any way I want.

    But, by far the BEST benefit of taking Metra is that, at the end of the day, when that person stops by your desk – don’t pretend you don’t have that person THEY ARE IN EVERY OFFICE – you can stop them BEFORE they suck you into a two-hour conversation that is totally not worth staying late for by saying “Oh, I’m so sorry. I want to catch up, but I have to run or I’ll miss my train.” The train waits for no woman! It’s a nice way to get out of something and no feelings are hurt.

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