This was a different type of freewrite, as I actually wrote this by hand on the train en route to League today. It was on the Orange Line between Roosevelt and Pulaski.
So, OOF! here we are on the next leg to League. It has been a trying day on the CTA, with a LONG delay at Loyola, and even two express segments (Loyola to Wilson and Belmont to Lake) got me to Roosevelt at 10:34, and I JUST MISSED an Orange Line! Good thing that League isn’t a job!
It’s pretty quiet on the car, other than the whirring of the wind, a conversation behind me, the thump-thump-thump of the rails, and “This is Halsted.” It really amazes me how trains indeed mix solitude with togetherness. That article I read this morning [ed: Here is the link] holds some really good points!
Graffiti or gang stuff is seen, scratched onto the window and the whitish wall. The CTA asks for people to report vandalism, but I guess that people would shy away from blowing the whistle in the act. I think that fear of retaliation pops up in many ways.
But returning to solitude vs. community (לבראיות) [ed: someone sneezed as I got to this word, so I wrote the Hebrew form of “gesundheit” there!], I noticed a helmet that a person standing next to me had on a bag. I inquired, as he identified it as a ski helmet. We chatted about skiing, dangers of head impacts, and the train. He is an exchange student from Spain, studying at IIT. You never know the interesting people and stories that you find when you open your mind to conversation.
I love riding the train. Even when it happens to run into snags, it is my chance to either retreat into a journal/newspaper/grading shell, or un-shell and chat with random people, or to ride the shell and play the inertia game. A train is transportation, engineering, psychology, sociology, English, art, math, and much more.
One more station before my stop. It’s a mile away, and sometimes it can be interminable to your terminal. But, I have more wait ahead, as the Archer bus is a pain for which to wait. But, biking plus grading is not an option. This is Pulaski.
[ED: Unlike my previous Freewrite prompts, I actually did the freewriting here in my journal, and transcribed it exactly as is in the journal, minus the link to the newspaper article.]