Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Red line to 95th (retro-post)

At the Roosevelt Red Line platform, I see an attendant exiting his booth and I ask him why this has been happening recently. Why are they turning trains AROUND and heading back up north? People need to go south. This is making me miss my bus out to the burbs, and the next one's an hour later. At this rate I won't actually get home until a quarter after midnight.

The attendant is a very butch, muscular, well-tanned white guy with blond highlights in his hair and a neatly trimmed, blonde-streaked goatee and carefully rolled-up shirt sleeves displaying his muscular biceps.

"The CTA does everything backasshalfwards, if you ask me," he says in thick Chicagoese. "The don't even tell me about this stuff, and I'm the one who's gotta deal with all the pissed-off riders. It's fucked up." He advises me to write a complaint to the CTA.

But then I realize the guy is
waaaaay too interested in talking to me. He's lingering around and is starting to repeat himself, as if trying to stretch the conversation. And I notice he's way too neat--not a hair out of place. He starts to remind me of some of the guys I've seen hanging around Spin on north Halsted.

So I nod politely, thank him for his advice, and look down and grab a pen and pad to make a note to myself to write CTA. Get the message? This conversation's over.

This plump, pretty sista starts talkin to me about why the delays and woowoowoo, and I tell her what dude told me. I'm not feelin mackadocious at the moment so I don't flirt.

When the next southbound train finally arrives at 9:29, it's packed. Boarding ahead of me is an old lady I've seen around in various places: a white-haired old black woman, dragging two big garbage bags.She sits down with her bags blocking the aisle.

"Let me help you out," I say, moving them out of the way a little—-even though I'm actually helping myself and other passengers more than I'm helping her. She thanks me.

When I get off at 95th, I head across the street to McD's. It's been a while since I tasted some McCrap. While in line I watch a bunch of unruly get-o girls, looking to be junior high, wearin' stuff way too tight for their ages. And grown-ass men breakin their necks to turn and stare at them.  Damn, brothas, keep yo eyes in the sockets. Yall act like yall ain't never seen a big booty before. 
You know the Roadrunner cartoon where Wile E. looks at the roadrunner and imagines him as a big, steamin' hot roasted turkey on a platter? That's the way they're looking at these little girls. 

I enter the 95 station and some brothas are in a freestyle cipher, trading battle rhymes as they drink some kind of pinkish-orange drank from little flasks and pass around a blunt (even though there are cops in the station). One of 'em makes a pot-smoker scowl and then starts goin' buckwild like Redman on a killing spree. A couple others are on a West Side, Twista/Do or Die type flow.  Some college –type sistas are hanging around them and egging them on as they trade battle rhymes.

The junior high girls from McD's show up, clownin', being loud, tryin to get the brothas' attention.

I love 95th. It's an ever-changing exhibit of Chicago ghetto-fab, and ghetto-ridiculous. 

No comments: