Commuting to and from work everyday on the train is monotonous. In Chicago, they’re hardly ever on schedule, there’s always some asshole on a conference call yelling over everyone (Really dude? Why don’t you do this, oh, I don’t know, in your office?), and it boggles my mind how many people just straight up stink on the EL. I will never understand how someone cannot tell whether they stink or not, but that’s a whole other issue.
My only solace in utilizing this godforsaken mode of transportation is having the privilege of staring at the endless throngs of 20-something girls headed to and from work. Nothing like a hottie in business casual, am I right? There’s just one problem: I have no idea how to approach them.
I usually don’t have a problem walking up to girls at the bar, but there’s just something about doing it on a train that turns me into a mental midget, similar to one of my favorite September Heisman Trophy winners, Denard “Shoelace” Robinson.
On the way into work, it’s around 7:30 in the morning. The sun is barely out, nobody has had their coffee yet, and everyone is listening to a podcast on their phone with the exception of the bum taking up an entire row of seats to sleep and the 65-year-old man reading the paper. It’s my assumption that at this hour of the day, nobody wants to talk to anyone else. Just keep your head down and shut up. It’s a Tuesday, we’re not even halfway through the work week and me, the guy in the Jos. A. Banks suit that hasn’t been dry cleaned in a month wants to ask Helen of Troy for her number? Get outta here.
On the way home from work, we’ve got close to the same issue. Every girl my age is drained from her marketing job at generic company X, and I don’t see how it would be possible to broach the subject of dinner on a traincar where everyone is packed in like cattle awaiting slaughter.
“But wait, John, what was all that talk about shooters shooting?” Well, for one thing, a train doesn’t serve alcohol. Your buddy isn’t handing adderalls out like tic tacs, and to top all of that off I’m not getting the natural high I usually do from it being a Friday or Saturday night.
I just feel like the train could be a one of those zany ‘how we met’ stories — similar to the old “Oh, we met at a pumpkin patch and just clicked,” or “We were at a coffee shop and our orders got mixed up!” So is there a way to make this fantasy a reality? I don’t know. We’ve all read about grumpy old writers lamenting the fact that kids these days just can’t unplug.
So why not try it out, class? Instead of catching up on the newest This American Life or jamming out to a little Steve Winwood, leave the phone in your pocket and take a few swings. Do your best Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love impression. If you get rejected, meh. You live to fight another day. But on the off chance that there’s a mutual attraction? That’d be a great story, and it’s a hell of a lot better than trying to one up Xander the bartender at Club @tmosphere. .
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