It’s early Friday morning and my two feet are now shuffling along on the circumference of the earth moving at a tortoise’s pace even though I am told that my land speed is actually the product of the cosine of my latitude times the earth’s equator’s circumference speed of just over 1000 MPH – not as fast as High Speed Internet but faster than the speed of sound. And speaking of sound, I woke up early and shut off the alarm clock before its due diligence was required.  Hiding under the covers I was moving less than a centimeter an hour but thinking about work. OK, I had to get up.

After the morning ritual of making coffee, feeding Henry my Parrolet, feeding myself, showering and listening to the weather lottery numbers I head to the train. (If the train heads east at 40 MPH and the earth is rotating east at 1000 MPH will my accumulated speed be 1040 MPH and why are the trains always late?)

I stand behind the yellow line waiting for the train. Today the commuters are standing waiting at the south side track.  The train traffic lights indicate this but there has been no announcement. Headlights appear around the bend.  Everyone around me starts running around the gate to the north track.  I stay put with this super good looking guy who is not married and standing right next to me.

I tell him that it looks like the train is on the south tracks.  He says, “Yeah it is.”  Then someone yells “There’s a freight coming”. We run and catch up with the others and we meet up on the other side. The freight finally passes and the guy says, “Watch, the train will probably come on the south track.”  I say, “Yeah, right”, wanting to agree with anything he said.  At this point I didn’t care which track the train came on. I just wanted to stand waiting with him thinking that if he and I were polar opposites we would be virtually standing still, moving only centimeters an hour, very slowly, taking our time…

I had this all the physics worked out but then the train arrived.  We boarded the train and I walk to my seat in the front car and mystery man heads off to his usual seat in the next car. (Love and Schrödinger’s cat:  dead or alive?).  We reach the train station and I start walking the six blocks to my office.

It’s chilly this morning.  I’m glad I wore a jacket. This summer’s been in the cooler but at least today the wind off the lake is giving me a break. Good. I won’t have a ratted hair style by the time I get to work.

Then I see them – red and tan men in white tee shirts and blue jeans walking with red and white lunch buckets, pulling red hand-trucks loaded with tool boxes.  We pass each other on the sidewalk with knowing glances:  me – the good ones aren’t gay; them – she’s no teenage dream.

I walk past Polish cleaning women holding cigarettes at clichéd angles and large peg-legged women getting out of taxis.  Homeless men say ‘Good morning.”  They offer me StreetWise and the SunTimes.  I say, “Good morning” and smile. I always buy the SunTimes from the guy outside the Corner Bakery who says “Good Morning, Lovely” every time when I walk up.

Along the way there are whiffs of sewer gas mixed with the aroma of fresh baked bread and the homey smell of the daily brew. I see young girls behind counters busy filling cupcake display cases. I see lettuce being chopped, bacon being crisped, deliveries being made and bums waking up. I finally get to work.

At noon I will go to the Taste of Chicago with my friend Deon.  I’ll find the Billy Goat’s Tavern booth and order my usual: Cheezborger with no fries, cheeps! No Pepsi, Coke!”  She’ll order her usual: cheesecake with Caramel Pecan sauce.   We’ll come back to work smoky, smelling like Robinson’s No. 1 barbeque rib pit. I’ll be sleepy, too.

But tonight is Friday Night and in my head the dance mix is just revving up.  Later, its rhythm will move to my feet and I’ll be moving and dancing with a speed that is the product of the cosine of my latitude times the earth’s equator’s circumference speed of just over 1000 MPH.  Rocket girl.

They also say… love makes the world go ‘round.

I’ll let you know.


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