Walking to the train station on a surprisingly sunny winter afternoon, on a short 6 minute walk to the platform, the number of people that you pass by is equally as stunning as the seemingly early spring Friday morning.
Four Uptown residents stand in line waiting for the bus, pressed up against the outside wall of an old Chicago building-the inside of the worn brick wall of this particular building lies the dying soul of an old premier jazz club, frequented by the greats of a bygone age- an iconic club that has been swinging for over 100 years.
The first person that I pass is giggling to himself like he has just heard the best joke ever told. Either he is still drunk, or just generally delusional, it is hard to tell.
Next in line is an old man with his hand out begging for money.
The third man, tall and in a straight green jacket is standing perfectly still, silently waiting for the bus to arrive at the stop, successfully ignoring the world around.
The fourth person refuses to wait next to the old jazz club wall, instead teeters near the curb, obnoxiously not following social protocol by being in the way of the sidewalk traffic.
After the line of bus soldiers, a man, seemingly homeless, stands in the middle of the sidewalk for no other reason than producing another obstacle in the early morning course to catch the train. After the standing man, with his arms held up to the sky for no reason, comes the cook at the local taco joint- the place who’s doors are directly in front of the bus stop like a welcome matt, rounds the living statue with a hot bowl of soup in his hands. I also like soup for breakfast, and we nod to each other hello, happy soup to you.
I turn left and cross the street, nod hello to the guy who is always on that side of the corner, in front of the bank, with the cardboard sign in his hands.
I cross the street again, and at the other side is the local chain coffee shop, with a line of beggars combing over the patrons just like the line of people requesting coffee. Outside these doors is the lady who sells Street Wise who has a rotating wig collection, an inclination for daily change that I can admire. She keeps the same speech, though, preaches the same spiel to every passerby- yells it almost in a high pitched plea.
After this last Uptown persona, I dodge in between the slow walking shuffles of the working class, run up the stairs after I beep my fare card, hoping to catch the train that just pulled into the station nested high on the elevated track line, chugging me downtown to work and to prosperity, on the electrified iron balance beams that jet me on my early morning trans-city commute.