It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Monday, May 7, 2012

Getting on the wrong L train. I've made it an art form.

I'm not sure how it happens so often, but I do know this: I've now gotten on the wrong train in Chicago at least four times. Yep, four times of having that sinking feeling that nothing outside of the L train windows looks familiar. (That should be a country song.)

The most recent offense was probably the worst one yet...considering I had ridden to nearly the end of the brown line track (Kedzie) before realizing my mistake. I got on at Sedgwick, so if you look at this picture closely, you'll see that I managed to stop at 14 locations without having a clue. Yep, 14 times of hearing the train conductor saying "This stop, Armitage. Next stop on the brown line is Fullerton." (I needed the purple line to Linden.) Or if that didn't work, you'd think the thoughts of "Hmm, I don't remember that baseball field" or "Wow, the train isn't as busy as it usually is in the morning" would have made me realize my mistake by, oh I don't know, at least Diversey.

Nope, instead I rode that train on down the line until I finally panicked, looked at the colored sign in the window (damn it's brown!), hopped off at the next stop and backtracked to Belmont before transferring to the right train. This little mistake cost me 45 minutes and a very embarrassing walk of shame into my Long-Form Narrative class. (At least I didn't have on a sparkly gold dress and smudged mascara like you sometimes see in the mornings.)

Each of the four times that I've made this mistake, I've always called my husband so he can tell me what I need to do to get back on track. Since he's lived here four years longer than me, I need his help. His simple advice this time I called? "You know, all you have to do is read the signs." Yes honey, there is always that...

My theory is this: when you hear a train pulling up and you've just run up three flights of stairs to catch it and you see everyone else getting are going to follow the crowd and get on the train, even if it isn't yours. It's almost like they surely know something you don't know.

I'm guessing there is probably some sort of psychological test that can be done about following the crowd, and I can be the main subject. Just don't expect me to get there on time...

1 comment:

  1. this was the scary-est blog posting I've ever seen....i'm mortified for you...please don't stop