Randy; Seen on the Purple Line to Linden at 7:40 a.m., June 28th, 2011
As he walked onto the train, Randy's chest puffed out with pride. He wanted everyone to notice the message that his shirt proclaimed: "Saint Francis EMS System Paramedic Class of 2011." That's right--he, Randy Martin Calloway, was officially a paramedic. He had worked hard, and now he was ready and qualified to save people's lives. To be a hero.
Of course, Randy knew his shirt couldn't explain why he had decided to become a paramedic, which would have made it all the more impressive. A few years ago he had been the guy that needed paramedics. A lot. At the time he was a stupid drunk and had done a great deal of damage to himself. He sliced open his hand trying to open a bottle of beer with a knife. He got into a fight with a much bigger, much stronger man and got pummeled. But the worst was when he drank almost a whole handle of rum and got alcohol poisoning. He collapsed in the middle of a busy street. If it weren't for the paramedics that night, Randy would certainly have died.
That night changed his life. He sobered up, and he started taking classes. His goal was to turn his life around 360 degrees, to become the paramedic that saved his life, and now he had done it. Now he could help other people like him, and he wanted the world to know.
Cassie; seen waiting for the Red Line at Fullerton at 8:30 a.m., July 13th, 2011
Cassie was a little girl with big dreams, and those dreams were laid out perfectly on her small pink backpack: the Statue of Liberty, the Chrysler Building, and the Empire State Building. She was ecstatic when her mother brought it home for her. Not only did it give her visual evidence of her goal each day, but it also informed the people of Chicago that she'd be out of this town as soon as possible. Chicago may have Lake Michigan, but Cassie wanted the Atlantic. Chicago may have a "theater district," but Cassie wanted Broadway. Chicago's L may have eight easily manageable lines, but Cassie wanted to conquer the labyrinth of the New York subway. She was only seven years old, but she knew that the Windy City just wasn't grand enough for her. She was meant for the Big Apple.
Haha, remember when I thought July would be less busy? WRONG. I have been doing sooo much, including: a friend's bachelorette party and wedding, cousin's baby shower, going to friends' shows (Molly Robison and The Slippers), having my dad in town, having my friend Catherine in town, going to my five-year high school reunion, gogo dancing, writing and submitting a story to Machine of Death 2. Yeah. It's been a little nuts. I suspect things will calm down in the fall. Summer is warm, and warm is so rare in Chicago that people like to do as much as physically possible while they can. Anyway, I'll keep trying to post. I don't want to let this blog die! I like it too much!