A CTA story: Pocket Explosion

04-drunk-trainWhile riding the blue line one night, I saw a very strange character on the platform. Heavily intoxicated, he wobbled back and forth. He was mumbling and shuffling trying to keep his balance. After 10 minutes of waiting, the train finally comes and he hurls his body inside. Instead of taking a seat like you expect a drunk person to do, he decides to stand. Big mistake. Let me paint the picture for you here. There are 3 people total on this train. Me (sitting at the opposite end of the train car), the drunk man (opposite end), and another guy (in the middle).  This other mysterious man just so happens to have a giant utility box between his legs. If you would like, you can imagine it as the size of a treasure chest.  In fact, just picture it as a treasure chest and that this guy looks like a pirate.If you’ve ever ridden the train you know that it does somewhat of a sudden stop and then continues going for a little bit before actually stopping. I think it’s a sick joke on the conductors part hoping that people fall. Ridiculous.

So the train semi-stopped for a second. He let go of the handle. This sudden jerk motion caused the man to stumble  forward down the isle right into the treasure chest.  You would have thought it was a springboard as the man tripped over it and rolled like a Jesse White tumbler. “Holy shit!” he shouted, but it was long and drawn out and sounded like “hoooooooly shiiiiiiiiiiit.” While the man was tumbling, his pockets exploded. I have no idea how it happened, but everything the man owned flew out of his pants and throughout the air. The guy’s phone broke into 3 different pieces and scattered across the train floor.  His cigarette was beyond repair as it snapped in half and tobacco spilled out. Every card in his wallet was on the train floor. He slid face down throughout the entirety of the train. Right up to my feet. The train finally came to a stop. I honestly thought he was dead. He flipped over like a fish out of water and looked at me. “Sorry”, he says. The first thing he grabs is the half broken cigarette and stuffs it into his mouth. As he started to stand up with his pockets hanging outside of his pants, he started to collect his belongings with the broken cigarette butt resting on his lip. The train started moving again. He reached for the handle, misses, and tumbles over again. The pirate held up a score card with the number 10 on it.


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