All I was missing was the yellow shirt with that wacky black zig zag stripe. Like Charlie Brown, I literally had a storm cloud following me around all day. I walked out the front door today into a downpour. Normally, you don’t think of taking an umbrella with you when you leave for work on a January morning in Chicago, but because of Al Gore I had to go back to my apartment and dig it out of the closet where it was stored with my Speedo and lawn darts. It also meant I would miss my express train and have to catch the next one, which painstakingly makes every stop along the way. However, it did give me the opportunity to check out a new crowd of fellow commuters, instead of the same tired lineup of faces I see every day including the old dude that reads the Bible until he falls asleep with his mouth hanging wide open, drooling into the book of Salivacus, and the bar manager that wears jeans and a bar t-shirt in contrast to the corporate lackey majority tapping away into their fucking Blackberries.
Then two stops after mine, continuing with the Peanuts theme, the little red-haired girl got on the train and caught my attention. Probably in her early 20’s, so old enough to not make me feel like a pedophile, but young enough to make me feel like your lecherous Uncle Tom with the outdated eyeglasses and the moustache. I wasn’t lovesick like Charlie Brown, but her girl next door look was a nice contrast to the commuters I was used to seeing. And then, like Lucy pulling the football out from under Charlie, she pulled out her makeup bag. First of all, take care of that shit at home if you’re going to do it. Second, she’s probably too young to remember Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but she could take a lesson from Charlie Sheen:
You wear too much eye make-up.
My sister wears too much.
People think she's a whore.
In ten minutes she transformed herself from a nice girl next door into an annoying harlot.
After completing the last of 156 stops, the train pulled into downtown, and the cloud greeted me at the station and followed me to work making sure I was properly moistened for the day ahead. Its work was complete and it disappeared around the corner, probably for a drink, while the city started to dry out. Until it was time to go home. The revolving door alerted my faithful storm cloud of my presence and I was correspondingly soaked for the train ride and the walk home from the train station. I nodded at Schroeder practicing his piano in the lobby of my building and went upstairs and changed into my yellow and black Speedo. Good grief.