Friday, December 30, 2005


On my way home from the airport yesterday I was assaulted, but not in the physical sense. It did involve a sense, though, specifically the sense of smell.

I hopped on the Orange Line to head home from Midway. I had the train mostly to myself, which was nice, until a family of four came on board at the 35th and Archer stop. There was this smell, this unmistakable smell, of children who had recently shat themselves.

I had to physically cover my nose, and was kind of grossed out that their parents didn't notice. I got off a stop early and waited for the next train to come because I simply couldn't bear it anymore.

I had to take elevators at the Roosevelt transfer station because I was carrying about 100 lbs of Christmas Goodies in my suitcases. The first elevator I got on had it's own scent- that of urine. There was an empty bottle of Corona on the floor, and what appeared to be a puddle of urine next to it. Again, I was grossed out.

The Red Line had the classic smell of humans all over it. Most of the people standing near me had not deodorized that morning, and made this leg of my trip the most unbearable.

Finally, I took the elevator at my Red Line stop. I got in expecting a rotting corpse or a skunk orgy or something, but got a little Christmas present from CTA: it smelled like my Pap-Pap's house. Cigar smoke and Coca-Cola. I stayed in the elevator a moment or two longer than I needed to, just so the CTA would know that I appreciated it.

When I got home, my house smelled like Gingerbread, which was nice and comforting. Then it smelled like stale beer, because I had left a bottle of Rolling Rock half finished on my dresser for the past week.

Finally, at long last, it smelled like sleep.


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