Out of Step

Walking the walk, talking no talk. Pounding the pavement, ahead. The stench of sewer radiates from the grates in the streets, slumbering in the humidity of Chicago spring. The red-headed girl nearly walks into me, texting, laughing to herself. Stopped at the entrance of rush hour commuters storming the revolving doors, impatiently waiting their spin. The cigarette smoke wafting slowly, lazily hanging about as the smokers have their last fix before taking their rides to suburbia. Toward the escalator chaos ensues as the baseball fans arrive and the commuters fight hard to embark against the wave of excited youth. Stand right, walk left. Ahead, again, to take a spin and enter the platform parking lot of trains of varying length, awaiting their usual travelers. Late-comers run, others walk speedily to their assigned platform. The monotone female voice repeating the platform names overhead cannot be heard over the raging rumbles of the powerful engines. Down the platform corridor, the train to the left is the usual 5:20PM Northwest to McHenry. The train to the right is the 5:03PM to someplace else. The doors are closing, people clamoring to board the train before it departs. I’m compelled to jump on, explore, ride to an unknown destination. My train home leaves at 5:20PM.

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