Category: May, 2015

The Friday File………A Trained & Elevated Perspective

CTA State and Lake

I thought I’d show you my perspective on what it’s like to stand on a train platform in Chicago.  On this particular occasion, I happened to be on this platform late morning when there is a lull in the crowds that normally stand beside me, behind me; why, you get the picture!

Ah, a golden opportunity for a quick photo without those pesky passengers in the way.  Wait a minute; I am one of those pesky passengers.  For all intents and purposes, please consider the previous sentence null and void.

Fresh paragraph!  Now, where was I? Golden opportunity, photo, train, yes!  As you can see, the train was just coming ’round the bend, as it were.  As there are several different lines that operate on this particular set of tracks, one must be sure ‘their’ train is that which is soon to arrive in front of the platform.

Have I ever stepped onto the wrong train? Yes I did; it was about a year ago.  Did I feel silly?   Indeed.  It’s interesting because when it happened, I was, of course, the only one who knew my foible.  Why is it that we humans feel as if everyone in an entire 10-mile radius knows exactly what we just did?  Cheeks becoming flushed with embarrassment, I quickly got off at the next stop, moved down the platform a bit, and ‘casually’ waited at that stop for ‘my’ train.

From my, “Trained Perspective”, as the title of this little post connotes, when a train is spotted, why, it must be mine; how can it not be mine, I’ve been waiting all of nine minutes, you know!

When a train platform is hardly recognizable as such due to the gigantic number of people standing on it, it’s hard to know ‘where to look’.  If you look left or right, chances are you will be looking directly into someone’s shoulder.  You may ask yourself, well, what about straight ahead! Ah, I’m ‘ahead’ of you with that!  Directly across from you are those ‘platformers’ looking at you looking at them waiting for ‘their’ train going in the opposite direction.  Look down?  No, not the best idea, as you might end up missing that “Brown Line” train and shift yourself onto a “Green Line” train instead.  Although I once counted (spying on the platformers across the way) 18 out of 20 people LOOKING DOWN AT THEIR PHONES!!!  I kid you not.  I try not to do this when waiting for a train, as it is quite a distracting exercise, let alone when you are perched on a train platform.

No, I have a little method I use (especially when it’s sunny).  Sporting my ‘cool rays’, as I like to call my sunglasses, (I’m inserting my own rolling of my eyes on your behalf), I appear as if I am looking straight ahead, yet I shift my eyes in the direction of the train so I can keep my eyes on (literally) my ride, all the while not looking as if I am reading what is on your phone when you are 3/4 of an inch away from me on this frightfully crowded platform.

I love the train system here in Chicago, known affectionately by Chicagoans as the, “L” (which stands for, ‘elevated train’).  Once you get the hang of it, somehow it becomes part of your character, your persona, your………………………….

WAIT! There’s my train!!!  Gotta run!!!!

Ah, it was someone else’s train.  Now where were we??????????? 🙂

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