Thursday, July 20, 2000

Puking on The L

Yesterday afternoon, I'm sitting at work, minding my own damn business when I get a call from Brian "Soho" Sohovich who says he has 2 tickets to the Cubs/Phillies game. He went to the same high school as Scott Rolen, so he was all excited about it. Who am I to pass up free tickets?

So after work I head to his apartment, which is right off Diversey, but over a mile west of the Diversery Brown Line stop. He lives with a family friend who is apparently loaded because the apartment was awesome and it was in a gated complex. Anyway, we decide that the best course of action to avoid giving those bastards at Wrigley one more cent than they deserve would be to bring a fifth of vodka, Dark Eyes to be exact, which for some reason, Soho had (in a convenient slim plastic traveling bottle no less).

Since we're both cheap and idiots, we walked to Wrigley, which was about 2 miles away. Our seats were pretty good (upper deck, but right behind home plate). We took care of the nearest vendor's Sprite inventory on our way to polishing off the fifth. In fact, we had finished in enough time to get a beer at the park before beer sales shut off at the 8th inning (I think).

Needless to say, I couldn't tell you who won the game. Afterward, we head across the street to the Cubby Bear, where we down some cans of Old Style for fucking $4.50 a pop. It must be nice to be making at least $120 on each 30-pack of Old Style. Anyway, at some point, I realized that I still had to make it back to the Loop so I could make the last Metra of the night back to the burbs (which leaves Union Station at 12:30).

I stumble the couple blocks from the Cubby Bear to the Red Line stop at Addison. As soon as I get on the train, I grab a window seat, prop my head up with my elbow and pass out. In my state of semi-coherence, I could feel the wheels in motion in my stomach. This was not a good thing.

Miraculously, I wake up at the Monroe stop, which is one before I need to get off at Jackson. I stand up and make my way to the door. There are probably about 10-15 people on the car with me. Bear in mind that I am still dressed in my business casual attire, which included a white button-down shirt and what used to be nicely pressed khakis, carrying my bag over my shoulder.

Anyway, on my walk to wait by the door for the next stop, I began to realize that I really needed to get the fuck off this train before I puked. I grabbed the railings on both sides of the door, essentially preventing anyone from getting in front of me. I began to psyche myself up in my head. "You're doing great, buddy. Just about 30 more seconds and we'll be there. You know you can do it."

The train begins to slow, and I'm telling myself, "Just a couple more seconds. You're gonna make it." My fellow passengers were hushed with anticipation. I keep my inner monologue going: "You're gonna make it. You're doing great. You're gonna make it. You're . . . not gonna make it."

About 2 seconds before the train came to a complete stop, I rocketed vomit all over the inside of the door. In unison, everyone else on the train gives a disappointed and disgusted "ohhh." So the doors open, and I keep puking all over the platform while I'm trying to walk away. Apparently I was on the first car because the conducter leans his head out the window and asks me if I'm alright. Doubled over and puking while stumbling towards the escalator, I thrust my right arm into the air to give him a big thumbs up.

I stopped puking just in time to notice the time: 12:20. Shit. I have 10 minutes to get my drunk ass to Union Station, which is about 7-8 blocks away. As much as was possible, I composed myself and started trucking up the escalator and out the exit. After running 2 blocks, I came to a big street and I thought to myself, "Well that's funny. They moved Michigan Avenue. . . . . Mother. Fucker." Yes, I had run two blocks in the wrong direction.

So I turn around and start really running the right way down Jackson. I got the Union Station and hopped on my train to the burbs about 10 seconds before the doors closed. Then I made my way to a seat and plopped down. It was at that point when I noticed everyone on the train staring at me. And with good reason. I was drenched with sweat and I stank to high heaven. By that point I didn't give a shit, so I just smiled politely and fell asleep until my stop.

It then took me about 45 minutes to get from the Stone Ave. train stop to my house, which is normally a 10-minute walk. Of course my mom was still awake when I got home, which had to be sometime around 1:45 or 2. The first thing she says to me when I get upstairs is, "My God, you reek." Then I told her the whole story. Not one to usually laugh about drinking stories, she was laughing her ass off.

Needless to say, getting up this morning was rough, but I managed to make it to work on time and without too bad of a hangover. Then again, I did get rid of about 5 gallons worth of puke at the Jackson St. L stop. Fucking Cubs.