Perils of assimilation

If only life came with subtitles.

Friday, July 20, 2007

"Harrowing Adventures in Chicagoland"

or "How Liz and Adam Are Nearly Arrested for Attempted Acts of Vagrancy"

"I am currently writing this from a Greasy Spoon in Greektown, my stomach threatening to betray me, and my lungs about to quit on me. I have ventured into the bathrooms in this place once already, and I refuse to even puke there. Why would you shit NEXT to a toilet? That's not right. How did I get here, at 3am on a Friday morning? How did all this happen?

It started Thursday morning when I arrived at Adam's to pick him up so we could go to Chicago together. We nearly crashed into each other, as he was taking his car to the dealership to have some repairs done. This was alright with me, because I knew there were plenty of trains that we could take later in the day. After telling his parents some lie about moving furniture(which would explain why I was driving my father's truck), we smuggled the cigar stash out of the house and we were on our way. Seeing as we had missed the trains from Fox Lake and Harvard, we decided to take the train from Crystal Lake in the afternoon, even though the only thing we knew about Crystal Lake was that it was in Illinois. Guided by instinct and half-assed directions from our friend Maggie, we navigated CORRECTLY to the station, with time to spare.

Making our way to our friend's apartment was slightly more aggravating, given that we were travelling during rush hourand the Orange line was delayed due to a train malfunction at LaSalle. We made it, only to find that no one was home. We waited on the porch, and after a short wait, Bobby and Stash arrived. Bobby is only staying there temporarily so he had no keys. In through the window we went! Soon the rest of the roommates arrived, which swiftly developed into a small party, complete with mandolin and trombone performances. Lila and I did what we do best, and split a bottle.

Soon we sadi our goodbyes and headed back to the Orange line. But because of the delays earlier in the day, the train schedule had been pushed back, and our train was late. We got to Ogilvee, running as fast as we possibly could, with only a seconds before our train left. As we approched the train, the doors shut in our faces. The conductor simply shook his head and walked away. Well, I would have none of it. I grabbed hold of the handle on the side to hoist myself up and bang on the window. At this point, the train began to move. The conductor saw me and stopped the train...so he could call the police.

I prayed the officer would ignore my sour breath and quickly came up with a game plan: pity. I turned on the waterworks, pinned all the blame upon myself. He did indeed take pity on us, of course after telling us that he should be tossing us right into jail or at least fined a thousand dollars apiece. He escorted us out of the station and followed us for a block.

After he left us, I began to fret about my father's vehicle which we had left in what was certainly NOT overnight parking and was boldly labelled as such. At worst, it was going to be towed, at best ticketed. Adam sagely advised that I call CLPD and tell them our situation, which worked out swimmingly.

With that worry out of the way, we began to meander about the Loop, because we had five hours to burn before the next possible train. we were kicked out of a White Hen, where we unfortunately forgot the cigar stash. We sat down on a bench overlooking the river, so we could formulate a plan. Out of the shadows came a man who pointed out to us two quickly approaching officers who were likely going to arrest us for loitering. Rather than face another brush with the police, we followed him on a whirlwind tour of all the places we could hang out before 5am. He regaled us with stories of his time in Vietnam, his niece and nephew and his own escapades with the local law enforcement. We left our guide in Greektown, after, of course giving him the money he was bound to ask for.

This dive is definitely popular with the trendy clubbers, Adam and I stand out very much. We have just consulted the schedule and we have discovered that the early train does not go to Crystal Lake. We decided to get off at Pingree Road and walk the three miles to our vehicle. Unfortunate, but necessary. Adam must work at 10 in the morning, and I have already received angry calls from my father about my whereabouts. My buzz is fading and hangover is setting in."

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