5:01pm on the South Shore train to Chicago. It's been 11 years since I rode this train to the city. It was my last day of work at the Chicago Board of Trade.
A couple things are different. I'm typing on a smartphone with my thumb. Didn't do much of that 11 years ago. And now there's two levels to the train cars. Back then there was just one.
But on the whole it's pretty much the same South Shore ride to Chicago. A kid's whining, a woman's talking way too loudly on her cellphone, and as the darkness of the south side of Chicago whizzes by, I feel a sense of tranquility.
I'm not kidding. If you're one of the three or four who read this blog, then every once in a while you might say - "you know what? JED'S got some rhythm to the way he blogs." At least I hope that's what you say.
And to this I say back - I owe it all to the South Shore train ride downtown from East Chicago to Randolph.
Here's why. Most weekdays for 18 years, I would kiss Alexis and sometimes the kids and drive to the EC train station. And for a good 40 minutes I'd furiously scribble psychobabble in a notebook. It was a routine, a ritual. Many times, like right now, I'd be irritated that we were arriving downtown. There was always more to say. There was never enough to fill the pages.
Where are the dozens - no, hundreds - of the notebooks? 95% are lost or damaged. It's not a shame, really, that the three or four of you will never know what was going through my mind during 18 years of train rides. It was mostly just emptying the mind of morning clutter so that I could yell for money with a clear mind. We're underneath McCormick Place now. So much left say... never enough to fill these pages.