A goodbye to my co-commuters

If you follow me on the onlines at all, you may have seen me crowing about getting a new job recently. Hooray for me! I have been job-searching FOREVER and very soon I will be at a new place, making more money. It’s the American dream and I’m proud of myself.

I’ve been working at my current job for close to five years now. It’s been a pretty good position all things considered, but the commute is almost an hour and a half each way (I live on Chicago’s north side, work on the south side, and rely entirely on the CTA). So besides the general career advancement that my new job means for me, I’m excited that soon I’ll be working downtown, a single train ride away from home.

I won’t miss my commute to Hyde Park, but I do have a soft spot for some of the people I’ve shared my commute with. Let’s say goodbye to some of the more notable ones.

Goodbye to the thirty-something woman who shares my exact morning commute at the exact same time every day. We both get on the brown line at Western and then transfer to the #2 bus, and then we get off at the same bus stop. I always felt like this meant I should…befriend her, or something? But instead I pretty much ignored her and she ignored me even though I know we both find each other interesting.

Goodbye to the woman on the bus with the loudest speaking voice I have ever witnessed. Her normal talking voice is a yell, and I am not joking. She tried to be my friend for a while but I could just not deal with someone going “DID YOU HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND?” at me on a crowded bus at 7am on a Monday. So now I rather blatantly ignore her and try to put as much distance between us as possible. Sorry not sorry.

Goodbye to the guy on the bus with impeccable fashion sense. He almost always wears a tailored three-piece suit, paired with complementary argyle socks and beautiful leather shoes, and a porkpie hat. On the occasional days that he doesn’t dress like a 1940s fashion plate, he wears a crappy t-shirt with jeans and a baseball cap. What’s your deal, guy? What kind of job do you have where this is the norm? I don’t know, but I like you. I admire how many books you read, especially the time you were carrying around the Mark Twain autobiography for a couple of weeks. That book weighs a lot!

Goodbye to the red-headed woman with a red-headed baby that is hands down the cutest baby I have ever seen. I rode the bus with this woman from before she was pregnant, through her pregnancy, and now she rides with her very sparkly, smiley baby on her lap. The baby has evolved from an adorable sleeping lump to a wriggly 18(ish?)-month-old who throws Cheerios on the bus floor and high-fives people getting off the bus. A+ baby.

Goodbye to the guy who has twice sat WAY too close to me on the train and one time very subtly put his hand down so that it was mostly on his leg but also kind of grazing mine. Fuck you, dude.

Goodbye to the woman about my age who wears cute boots and reads the New Yorker on the bus. In another life we could probably be good friends.

Goodbye to the old man who has retired by now, but who used to ride the bus home with me and was just the most bitter, angry person, it seemed like. Do you ever have imaginary fights with people? That’s what this guy did every day while we were waiting for the bus. He didn’t seem to realize that people could see him mouthing angry words at whoever he was thinking about. Sometimes there were gestures involved too. I mean, I get it, dude. Work sucks sometimes. You’ve been my role model for who NOT to be for a while now. I hope you’ve found some peace since your retirement and spend your days getting into fights with the peas and petunias in your garden, or whatever it is you’re doing.

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