Initially I planned to carpool with a barely-21 year old coworker when my company moved from downtown to the Western suburbs. It sounded like a good idea at first. And it lasted about a week until I realized that if I wanted to live to see 34, I'd better think long and hard about taking the train. When the guy driving you says, "You might want to hold on, this part's gonna get rough," and the only thing between you and a concrete barrier is a prayer, it's time to get it out.
I told Mr. Nascar if I could be drunk during our rides, I'd be able to handle his driving (80 mph, driving on shoulders, creative lane changes, etc.) Loading up on bloodys for breakfast isn't terribly conducive to being a productive employee, so it was time for plan B. And besides, I'm saving drinking at my desk for my 40s.
So week two kicked off with me buying a Metra pass, getting up at 5 a.m., and officially moving one major step closer to becoming one of "them." What do I mean by them? Wednesday I saw this woman on the bus with her comfortable shoes, windbreaker, no fuss hair cut, and various transit passes hanging smartly around her neck. She is obviously good at this sort of commute. I don't want to get the hang of it. I don't want to be one of them. God help me.
Some of you may think, especially my suburban brothers and sistas, "Wowza, can this girl whine. Just go to work already! Fair enough but for 10 years my intercity commute is when I've done some of my best thinking. The city is inspiring. In early 1997, I singlehandedly solved all the world's problems one morning between Belmont and Jackson on the Blue Line. And I know exactly what I'd say when I'm interviewed by David Letterman upon release of my new, yet unwritten, yet unpublished book. I figured that out one afternoon years back taking the 7 from Columbia back to my old apartment on Lexington Ave.
So at present my time is spent worrying that I'm going to leave my $95 pass sitting in that clippy thing on the seat in front of me. Or that I'm going to miss my stop. Worse still, the Metra trains on the reverse commute run once every 34 years so I can't risk stopping for coffee for fear of missing the train.
And a decaffeinated Angie is not a happy Angie.