#401: The Worst Commute Olympics

November 19th, 2014

Somehow, walking down the street covered in blood was not the worst commute my office saw yesterday morning.

I was the blood man, of course of course. I missed the bus to the Metra station, texted to see when the next one was coming, grumbled some words of the type my dear, sweet parents never taught me, then started walking east through the blistering cold to make it to the train, bundled in plaid, earflap hat and the woolen scarf my dad bought in Wisconsin in the ‘70s.

Midway through my trip, my nostrils decided to stage a protest against the cold, dry wind by giving me a nosebleed of the type only little children and joggers get. I noticed this when I tried to wipe away what I thought was snot, leading me to wander the streets of Bucktown with bloody hands like some Man Lady MacBeth.

I cleaned off at a Dunkin Donuts, but then had to run for the train.

When you’re a child, you don’t picture your future as being the guy in a stupid hat running for a train. You know they exist, fuddy-duddies with coffee-stained pants, scuffed old shoes that rarely if ever see polish and stupid, stupid, stupid-looking earflap hats.

But you just don’t think you’ll be one of them.

And yet this depressing and surprisingly blood-soaked morning revelation did not even earn me bronze in my office’s Worst Commute Olympics.

First there was Leah, whose normally half-hour ‘L’ ride got another hour tacked on because of a fire at an elementary-school-gone-condo snarling ride times and forcing the CTA to skip Brown and Purple line stops.

The office drivers were separately delayed by a bus that burst into flames in the middle of Lake Shore Drive.

But the winners would have to be Margaret, Madeline and Jess, who the night before had taken a Metra where the power went out. No lights, no movement, no heat.

That’s the train I usually take. I had decided to work late.

So in the grand scheme of things, a little bloody nose isn’t so bad. I didn’t get in a crash on the Kennedy or have a plane plow into my house.

All that happened to me was it was cold in November in a town where people scurry to work any way they can.

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You are currently reading #401: The Worst Commute Olympics by Paul Dailing at 1,001 Chicago Afternoons.

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