Life is Busting out ALL Over!

Midnight Train to Kenosha… er…

Posted on: April 5, 2007

My mode of transportation to and from work for the last 6 months has been Metra. It is cleaner, faster, and overall happier than taking the CTA.

However it is quite crowded. I’m only two stops away from work and on my way home I typically stand in the vestibule with about 10 other people – get off at Ravenswood to let the 50% of the train depart get back in the vestibule and head to my stop.

I’ve been known to just hop on the train, and end up at Davis Street because it’s express but for the most part I’ve had a great experience.

Now that the CTA is undergoing hell, my Metra line has added more trains. Yesterday I decided to take one of the additions.

So I’m at my stop and the train pulls up, I get on the in first car and am so happy because the vestibule is empty! I get to stand in the stairwell and gaze at all the houses on my way home.

We start slowing down for Ravenswood stop and I peek in to the two cars adjoining to see how many people are going to get off to see if it is necessary for me to as well. Both cars are EMPTY – like Twilight Zone empty. Then the doors open except for my vestibule. This isn’t totally out of the ordinary b/c frequently Metra announces the first or last car will not open so you have to move.

Well, I’m just looking at these people at the Ravenswood station looking at me (well, maybe they were looking at the closed doors), then moving down the platform to get to an open one. And I start to panic a little. I decide to walk to through the empty car to the doors that divided them (similar to the L cars) to walk through the gangplank to get to the next car so I can be in the one that opens.

I walk through the car and when I open the door to get into the next car – it’s locked and there is this HUGE sheet of metal blocking the entrance into the next car.

I’m totally stuck. The doors don’t open to exit the vestibule and the doors don’t open to get into another car so that I can then exit!! There are no conductors and no emergency buttons (I looked).

So then I walk back to the vestibule and notice the phone that the conductors use to make announcements. I’m thinking that if I have to announce to the entire train that I am stuck in the first car, I’m going to have to.

So I lift the phone – there are no buttons or anyhing that leads me to believe I can communicate with ANYONE. I call my boyfriend to let him know I’m trapped and I start to mentally prepare myself for being stuck until the end of the line. In Kenosha.

Of course R is not answering his phone and I start a little prayer. THEN all of a sudden the doors of one of the cars opens up and it is a CONDUCTOR!!

He must have thought I was crazy. I’m sure the whole “I’m TRAPPED!! I didn’t know how to get out of here. Everything is LOCKED. I love you!!” rant I went on added to this conclusion.

He laughed and walked me back to the formerly locked door where now the HUGE sheet of metal was gone and I got to the vestibule of the next car and exited at my stop.

Holy cow. Was I sweating!! And I still had to pay. But I have a new best friend and I think conductors rule!!

Also another weird thing that happened yesterday:

My co-worker and I went on a break to have a smoke and we walked to the elevator about 40 feet in front of us we saw a person get on the elevator and the doors close but the elevator still said it was on 3, our floor.

I wanted to take the stairs – I mean we’re only on the 3rd floor! My co-worker just pushed the down button for the elevator.

The Elevator doors totally open, because it hadn’t moved – and there is NO ONE inside. I asked her, “Didn’t you see someone enter the elevator? I did”. She confirms that she did and then was like “Is there a back door to this thing?!” We laughed cause there is NOT.

Totally a ghost. Seriously.

I told R the story last night – he does not believe in ghosts or Loch Ness or aliens or anything fun.

Me: “Is that weird…. Like GONE, they were gone.”
R: Yeah, that is weird
Me: [redacted], they were GONE!
R: Okay, it had to be a ghost!!
Me: {sigh} Fine, let’s watch Lost.

Oh, and I had a dream last night that I was in the empty vestibule of the Metra and every stop, the doors did not open and I just kept seeing all my friends standing there waving goodbye to me as the train left the station with me stuck inside.


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musings and panic attacks of a Chicago girl embarking on a new life in Texas. Only it's not always June and it's not in song.

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