Thursday, January 17, 2008

The 8:35 Local

The 8:35 local is an interesting ride home. It leaves the Loop too late for all the day workers and touristas, and too early for all the party- and theatre-goers. I sit here--top deck, end twofer seat--wondering about the stories of the lives surrounding me. At the same time, the mind loves to categorize. Halfway back on my side is "middle-aged divorced woman", looking generally unhappy as she absorbs her Subway sandwich. Below me, on the opposite side (with tie loose) is "overcaffienated CBOT floor trader". He's not wearing the ID or telltale fisherman's vest: he just has that energy to him.

So, why are we here? My story: a business dinner with my "team". Average meal, inconsequential discussion, decent wine…all in all, the kind of evening that helps to inoculate me from the depths of my self-deceit. It used to be easier, convincing myself that my work was important, was meaningful. Now, it takes at least a bottle of wine--and it better have a nice nose to it.

So, why am I here? Lots of reasons, none of them very convincing as I sit, facing backwards: seeing what we've past, but not where we're going. I wonder if this is how Britany feels about now--the cover of the tabloid consuming the woman on the top deck opposite me seems to indicate that she might. I wonder if these people all have good reasons for being on the 8:35, or if they even long for a good reason.

I wonder how soon I'll be home.

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