The dreaded hisssss

By Amy Alderman
Photo by vxla

As I run to my train, which is stopped in its tracks, I hear that dreaded hisssss.

The security guard looks to me and shakes her head. “They just closed the doors.”

The train begins to chug, chug, chug. As my heart beats from the jaunt and disappointment, the cadence of the steel wheels becomes a steadily increasing rhythm.

Down the long hall from the empty station, I sail down the escalator to the streets of the Money District. To my left, the Billy Goat looks closed. To my right, the Option Room is most likely open. I burrow my way past suits and stained tables. The Bulls game roars, the music blasts and the chatter is white noise.

I shout “A really big glass of red wine!” to the bartender using my hands to symbolize a fishbowl.

As I wait for my drink, a group next to me orders shots and chants, “One million dollars! One million dollars! Wooooooh!”, they sip and “ahhh.” “Next, two million dollars and we’ll go public!” One guy calls out.

The bartender apologizes for the delay on my bowl of merlot. I hover over my phone, texting a friend and reading factoids about Lou Reed and “Satellite of love” until it is time to leave.

Again, I burrow past the chatter and moneymen and women and find my way onto the train. Between work emails I gaze at an orange sunset over Comiskey park. As we arrive to my stop in Beverly, a near South Side neighborhood of bungalows, Tudor style houses and the mish mosh of ranches and Sears homes, I flop out of the car.

Robins swoop in front of me and call above as I walk a half mile uphill. I put my key in the door and Echo, our fluffy Maine Coone, looks up and says in her typical Yiddish meow, “Mech.”

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