* On Green Line: At Madison and Waa-waa-waa-Wabash, baby crying wickedly. Oh for a nursing mother (who can quiet a kid in seconds). Nothing doing, bottles visible on stroller top from other end of car. Young mother and wailing child debark at Clark. Man in hoodie to someone across aisle, commiserating: “I feel sorry for that young girl.”
* Day two, Green Line: At Adams and Wabash, packed car furiously loud, as if a bevy of raucous school girls were hooting and hollering with tales of their social life, talking over each other. A few stops later, the crowd thinned, it’s clear there are only two women making all the racket, chatting.
A few stops later, at Ashland, one got off. As the two said goodbye, the boy sitting next to the one remaining took his opportunity, leaping over the seat in front of them, and began running up and down the aisle of the car, now half empty. His mother, on her phone as soon as her friend was out the door, had filled the din gap, telling someone they were on their way.
Still talking, she rose and walked towards the door. Finished with her call, she turned. “Watch they feet,” she told the boy, age 8 or so, referring to passengers like me who sat facing windows. He clipped my feet, which I was holding close. She told the boy to stop, said she would hit him if he didn’t. He didn’t, she did, knocking him to the floor, or making him trip. He got up, backed away, running backward. She called him back, threatened to leave him on the train. He came back, rubbing his head where she had hit him, momentarily losing his grin as he did so.
He walked up to her, grabbed her at the waste, which was about head-high for him, and holding tight, cried “No, no, no,” his hands around her reaching the buttocks portion of her jeans. She laughed. The train stopped. They got off, the boy walking ahead of her on the platform. She followed, still laughing, amused at him.
* Words matter:
In the mass we have “Lord, I am not worthy . . . But only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.” I’d prefer “Say but the word” etc., which is cleaner copy and idiomatic.
I read Chicago Journal (cousin of the Wednesday Journal of OP & RF) on the way home. A front page caption read, “Luke Butcher, 1, hones in on an egg” etc., as if the editor, sharpening a blade, would tell someone he was homing it or said his favorite song was “Hone, hone, on the range.”
* Angelology: Friday the 13th, heading out the door, I should have asked my Guardian Angel to look after me:
Angel of God my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light, to guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
There. After all these years. Thank you, Sister Pius.