OK, I admit, the word “chrain” is a non-word. I based the spelling on how some people enunciate the “tra” morpheme in words (I was of course going for the word “train.”) Well, it turns out that I might just be That One Guy.
When I am on a CTA train or Amtrak train, I sometimes keep myself occupied by reading the newspaper, journaling, or playing The Inertia Game. The latter probably draws some looks at me, considering times that I stagger or lose my balance when trying to keep it!
Occasionally, I will notice something that someone else is doing or saying, and awkwardly join a conversation. I can sometimes monopolize these conversations, but that is how it sometimes goes! This often seems to happen on the Red or Orange Lines in Chicago, when I am heading to League. Some of the impetuses (impeti? 🙂 ) for conversations have ranged from clothing, my folding bike, suitcases, or my imitation of the canned CTA voice. The conversations drift, just like this post may seem like it is doing.
Because I love getting into conversations, I am perfectly fine when I sit next to a chatterbox on the train or even an airplane. Sometimes, it can even be a protective measure, as on November 23, 2011.
On that morning, I took the CTA train toward downtown in order to catch the Amtrak to go to Milwaukee for Thanksgiving. This was less than 24 hours removed from The Crash, so I wanted to make sure I was around people who would be able to respond if I started acting suspiciously due to latent effects from the impact. On the train toward Milwaukee, I sat next to a student at Le Cordon Bleu, and it was an interesting conversation about school, bad relationships, and her surprise when I told her that I have never been in a relationship. “But you’re smart, good looking, and a good listener.” I guess that is true, but for me, the relationship will come in time. Good things come to those who wait.
Thankfully, on that ride, there was no emergency, and so I was able to enjoy the engaging conversation. This was a one-off encounter, of which most of my train encounters are, but there was one time that the one-off was NOT a one-off! In 2012, I was taking the train down so as to go downtown for a friend’s birthday party. On the Purple Line, I was imitating the canned voice, for which this person got intrigued and we got into conversation about this, as well as music, and the idea of complex variables as a vector formulation.
It was not a one-off, because he actually ended up taking the Math 234 class that I TA’d in the spring of 2013! Evidently I never know when I will meet someone who ends up being a student of mine!
So, this post was more like a freewrite than anything planned. I’ll cut it off here, (a) because the passengers around me are probably getting annoyed, (b) I have a lot of work to do, and (c) see note (b)!
Today is the two-hundred and third day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes twenty-nine weeks.
Today is the eighth day of the Character Building Trial. That makes one week and one day.