Last night I was the star of a show called LOST: The Elmhurst episode.
My coworker KC and I had just gotten on the train after work to head back to the city (on what I now call the Trail of Tears), when we hear we're stopping like FOREVER in the quaint downtown area of Elmhurst because of a stupid signal problem. They essentially said they had no idea when or if we'd ever return to Chicago again. So being the smart, resourceful gal that I am, I ordered KC off the train with me to search out some beer and vittles.
I needed to steel myself for the unknown.
There was some sort of brutal car show in Elmhurst, so there were lots of people having an extraordinary amount of good, clean, wholesome family fun. (If you need a visual, think Gilmore Girls meets American Graffitti.) We ducked into a sports bar and I ordered a tall Blue Moon and then ran to the Walgreen's at the behest of KC to purchase some smokey treats ( for a mere $3.50 my friends--anyone interested in going in on a black market enterprise?) We gobbled our food, moved to the bar where we ignored by two Tara Reid wannabee bartenders, and then headed back to the platform to see if the 8:13 was going to materialize.
In a crisis, it's amazing how strangers can bond. Commuters who had been standing there for hours gave us updates on what was happening. Which was nothing. Because the Metra announcer who comes over the P.A. apparently fills his mouth with peanut butter and crackers before getting on the mike; this is what you hear:
"Attshen Mera Shumaldlk! Dadkashmmudhdi shidruiop sildk. Blug uialkd Shakd. We apologize for any inconvenience."
We discussed sharing cabs to Oak Park where we could get on the Green line el. Together, we all had our hopes raised, then quickly dashed as train lights creeping toward us turned out to be a freight train. KC found her inner hobo, when she suggested we jump on one of the empty flat beds moving by us. A train coming from the city moved passed us slowly, filled with weary Loop workers who were now just shells of the people they were when they left their families that morning.
While I was taking all this in, my three tall Blue Moons (and 3/4 of a regular one) quicked in so I ran into a Chinese Restaurant to pee. I was on the toilet, when I received a frantic call from KC.
"HURRY UP! HURRY UP! THERE'S A TRAIN COMING AND WE DON'T KNOW IF IT IS A FREIGHT TRAIN OR WHAT! AHHGHGHGHH!"
I finished my business, ran through the restaurant, took off my shoes and sprinted to the train.
A train that would finally get me home.
I hate you Metra. I really do.