A list of reasons why I love the CTA:
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1. I love all you crazy motherfuckers who ride. Especially the Eastern European guy who occasionally regales the southbound Purple with rambling, paranoid, slightly racist, yet compellingly coherent harangues about international politics. I love you crazy Slavic guy.
2. I love everyone who sings on the CTA, either with headphones or to themself. I made it my New Year's resolution to encourage singing on the L in any way possible. I love you, transit singers (crazy and otherwise): pay no attention to uptight hipster-wannabes turning up their iPods to ignore you.
3. The other day, a bus driver responded to my thanks not with 'you're welcome' but with a black power fist raised high. And I'm white. I love you Black Panther bus driver.
4. There is a lady who always rides the Foster bus who is OCD. When she has a bad day, she clutches some piece of paper that she uses as a sort of hand condom to protect her from the germs that coat the rails and seats. Her body and face are so tense that it hurts to look at her, and she jumps whenever someone inadvertantly touches her. When the bus is crowded, I sometimes think her head will explode. I love you OCD lady.
5. An Hispanic kid gets on the bus near Ashland. He's probably 14 or 15. Six of his buddies are always waiting with him for the bus, and when he steps on they all start shouting stuff to embarrass him like 'I love you' and 'Goodnight, honey'. Usually he just ducks his head in shame, but last week he got on and announced to the bus 'They're gay.' I love you awkward teenager.
6. A few weeks ago a young black man started singing Chaka Khan's "Tell Me Something Good" to himself. Everybody on the train started to go into 'possible crazy person on the train' mode. In light of my New Year's resolution, I made eye contact with him and we smiled at each other. When he finished his song he opened up a canister of cashews and loudly offered them to everyone on the train. I was the only one that accepted. He was not overtly crazy; I think he was just much too cool to be uptight about anything. I love you, generous R&B crooner.
7. There is a heavy-set lady who also rides the Foster bus. She has a fire-red, greasy mullet and about a pound of eye makeup. She wears little converse shoes, a varsity letter jacket, and sweatpants. She always seems happy, and she obviously thinks she is extremely hot (so of course she is). I love you mullet lady.
8. And I love you CTA. For bringing together the pointy-shod, iPod listening, vain bitches and the homeless guys looking for somewhere to sleep. For pairing the pseudo-thug teens with the successful yet totally cowed business men. For being too damn convenient and cheap for people to avoid.
this is in or around Chicago