old (2007), Uncategorized

the cta: my holiday role model

Despite realizing yesterday I’ve lost 18 pounds since September (probably because I’m no longer ingesting an average of 4,000 calories a week of alcohol) and bearing witness to a fabulous production of The Snow Queen from Victory Gardens Theatre at the Biograph, I had a crummy evening last night, and watching 21 Grams (half at 2am, half this morning when I woke up) didn’t do much to lift my spirits (dead children + addiction = not helpful). Chatting online with S. helped a bit, as did texting back-and-forth with The Perfect Veg*n Guy, but ultimately I went to bed around 3am completely drained, waking five hours later rested but restless, a feeling that continued (and was compounded by bad hair — mostly because I didn’t feel like showering) until I got on the bus and all of my angst (well, 95% of it, anyhow) was lifted by the CTA.

Yes, I know. Normally the CTA bus isn’t a particularly pleasant or angst-relieving place to be. The #81 bus to Truman is intolerable because, without fail, it’s packed and either (a) this crazy old guy is yelling at random people the whole way to Broadway and then walks behind me all the way up to Wilson, Tourette Syndrome-ing his way down Racine, or (b) a random pervert is figuring out how to rub up against women’s asses with his, uh, pelvic area. The #78 bus is better, but it runs less regularly and I have to walk an extra block to get there and (this is most important) lots of my (current and former) students ride that bus and so if I’m having a particularly off day (because, say, I had a minor breakdown the night before and look like crap because I didn’t shower) it’s almost impossible for to me to just be left the fuck alone so I can listen to my iPod and play Tetris on my phone (or, uh, read the RedEye).

Today, though… ooh… today. The #78 bus was decorated for the holidays! And that included lights and displays of holiday presents on that little rack near the front where people generally put their shopping bags and garland and — be still my beating heart! — holiday music piping through the speakers that was so fun I turned off my iPod and put down my phone (and the RedEye) and sat up a little straighter and smiled just a little bit more and I chatted with one of my former students about how things have been going for him since I’d last seen him a couple of years ago.

And I’m still kind of beating myself up for last night, but I’m on my way to recovery. Tonight A. and J. and I are heading down to the press opening of Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier (ice skating! an extreme ice trail ropes course! an indoor Ferris wheel!) and then I’m meeting up with The Perfect Veg*n Guy for a late dinner followed by Col. Ritter’s Spectacular Hour of Wonderment at the Lakeshore Theatre. And, ya know, even though I have to wake up early in the morning, that’s okay. It’s the last Friday class I’ll have for two months, and it’s winter, and I’m surrounded by so much cheer and good will if I just let myself receive it. After all, if the CTA can make an effort, can’t I do the same? Namaste.

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