This past Friday, my good friend Craig (who is coming here in the fall) had the opportunity to play soccer with the Moody team – a trial run of sorts. The team was scrimmaging Wheaton, so I grabbed a friend (known henceforth in this story as Kalena) and hopped on the Metra to watch the game. Just a quick 45 minute train ride to College Avenue, a block walk, and I’d be cheering for my Archers. Sounds simple, right?
We got to Ogilvie Transportation Center just in time to catch the 5:42 train, which was supposed to arrive in Wheaton at 6:24, giving us ample time to walk to the field, etc. I was writing as the train pulled into the second stop, when the conductor’s voice came over the PA system: “Attention passengers, we have an announcement. There has been a fatality with Train 49, and we will be delayed indefinitely. If you are going to Elmhurst or can get a ride from Elmhurst, we’ll put you on the train a track over, otherwise, just sit tight.”
We weren’t going to Elmhurst, nor could we get a ride to Elmhurst, so Kalena and I “sat tight.”
After about 40 minutes, we started creeping very slowly along the tracks to the next station, only to stop again. At this point, I had figured out via Twitter that someone had jumped in front of the train, and all trains were delayed 60-90 minutes. Now, a soccer game is 90 minutes long, and it was supposed to start in 20 minutes. We were going to be cutting it close.
We sat still for over an hour, as Craig’s sister texted me updates from the game. “Moody is winning!” “Craig just went in!” “25 more minutes in the game!”
As the conductor announced that we would arrive at College Avenue in ten minutes, I got a text from Anne. “Four minutes left, are you almost here?”
I looked at Kalena and we began to laugh. It was really our only option. We had just spent $8.25 to take the train to Wheaton College, turn around, and go back to Moody. The game was over, the people we were going to see had to go straight home afterward, we hadn’t had dinner, and, in case you didn’t see this before: THE GAME WAS OVER. We had sat still on a train for over two hours total… for NO REASON.
We got to Wheaton, hugged everyone, stood and talked for about ten minutes, and were given a ride back to the train station…
Only to have half of the soccer team look at us and say:
“We just missed the train back to Chicago, the next one’s not for 75 minutes. Wanna go get pizza?”
Since we were hungry, and didn’t really have a choice, we followed them around the block. On the way, we encountered a very large, very drunk girl, who told us to go to the pizza place at the corner, which was “expensive as h*** but good as f***.” She also informed us, “Y’all, I’m drunk. I discovered red wine tonight and d*mn, I lliiiiike it.”
We ate pizza, we talked to the team… aaaand we missed the NEXT train back to Moody. After waiting on the tracks for about 30 minutes, we finally got on the train. Since I had had to use the restroom for, oh, about three hours at this point, I went straight to the sketchy train bathroom.
I’m new to the Metra world, and was incredibly close to completely losing it. When the conductor came around, I stupidly handed him my ticket from the trip TO Wheaton. He assumed I was somehow trying to cheat the system, and began yelling at me, asking where I got this ticket and what I was trying to pull. My attempt to reply to all of his questions at once while refraining from bursting into tears resulted in me stammering like an idiot. The conductor stood in front of me and had the audacity to mimic my every stuttered word in a falsetto. Finally I (admittedly rather loudly and forcefully) said “Just do your job and sell me a ticket then.” He did, but he yelled at me to take my feet off the bar in front of me every time he walked by after that.
We arrived in Chicago without incident. On the way to the Brown Line, I kept accidentally hitting Kalena’s hand with my own. After I apologized about 12 times, she said, “I think we’ve been through enough together tonight, we’re probably okay to hold hands now.”
But wait. The story isn’t over yet.
I got back to Moody and found Alyssa and Kelci. As I was walking to my room, I dropped my ID. When I bent to pick it up, I ran into Kelci’s popcorn bowl, which promptly cracked in half and spilled popcorn all over the floor. I trailed said popcorn the whole way to my room, where I tried to spit my gum in the trash can and ended up getting it stuck in my hair.
NOW the story is over.
Sometimes, my life resembles a Seinfeld episode.