Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Seen on the Purple Line to the Loop at about 5:45 p.m., April 15th, 2013

This is a young woman with limited knowledge of suffering.

“Like, I just feel like she’s not pulling her weight and she’s ruining it for everyone else, you know?”

Chelsey’s confidante is all the way on the other end of the phone call, mercilessly silent.

“And I’m just so exhausted, right? I’m always trying to make everything work. I talked to Jimmy and Erica, and they both agree with me, so, like, if it happens again they can totally vouch for me.”

Her voice has the texture of dirty dishes and the tone of a tornado siren—not to mention the volume of a tornado siren. But the content of her screeching is like a tornado siren on the first Tuesday of the month: irritating, relentless, but portending no disaster. A false alarm.

“It just makes me so mad, you know? I work so hard all the time. Not just at my job, but when I come home, too. Because, like, I’m always cleaning and cooking and shit. It’s like, ‘is this what I went to college for?’ I think I deserve to have things a little easier at this point, and she just makes everything worse. She acts like her thesis is so much more important than my actual job.”

By now Chelsey has alienated everyone riding with her on the train—the haggard woman with three jobs, the man who has just lost his mother, the scruffy grad student, the stay-at-home mom. She ignores their glares.

“So finally I was just like ‘if you’ve got a problem with me, come out and say it.’”

Nobody says anything. They might be a little envious; they might wish their own problems were so simple.

My heart goes out to all those affected by the tragedy in Boston yesterday. Remember that the vast majority of people are good, and that good will always triumph over evil.

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