My Morning Commute Vs. My Evening Commute

Morning Commute

I am not a person who functions well in society before double digit morning but I somehow make it to the train stop dressed and on time. I didn’t shower, but my orange lip color totally distracts from whatever grease might be in my hair, so nobody will ever even know. Probably.  At least I don’t have to borrow a stranger’s farecard like the day before, when I spilled water all over my purse and the machine refused to take my sodden dollars.

On the train, I read my book, stopping every three paragraphs to yawn or marvel at how I can’t read the ads on the other side of the train. (My eyes are infected, so I can’t wear my contacts for two weeks. The swelling from the infection plus the outdated prescription in my glasses makes my vision just blurry enough for me to feel slightly drunk when I look at things more than two feet away – a weird sensation for 8:00 in the morning.)

I realize I’ve forgotten my lunch. That’s okay, I’m too tired to be hungry. When I get to work, I’ll just stick a syringe into a can of Diet Dr. Pepper and mainline it into my bloodstream, fuel my body that way. I can’t wait to listen to the new “Get It” playlist I made on Grooveshark.  Together, I am sure Nicki Minaj and Dr. Pepper’s 23 flavors (two of which I am pretty sure are vanilla ice cream and happiness) will make me so productive.

I arrive at the office at 8:45. I could’ve slept for 15 more minutes. Everything is terrible forever.

Evening Commute

I leave work and I’m totally zonked. I follow the horde of proletariat cogs up to the train platform. After sitting in the same spot for eight hours, I feel brittle and devoid of muscle, like if somebody brushed up against me, my arm would crumple like aluminum foil. I miss the days of my New York internship, when I would go straight to muay thai from work and actually use my body as something other than a container. My ass feels pancake-ier too, but that might just be my imagination.

Since I’ve been staring at screens and listening to “Super Bass” all day, my brains are basically dribbling out my ears at this point. This makes me do inappropriate things on the train, like stare at the people I’m eavesdropping on instead of pretending I’m not listening like everyone else does, or stare at the adorable kid with the chubby arms as he babbles to his parents and tries to lick the window, or stare at the grandma crocheting like a zillion half-inch circles of yarn and putting them in a bag. I am vaguely wondering if all my body knows how to do now is stare at things and push buttons, but I am more wondering if that grandma is addicted to eating those yarn circles the way that lady on TLC was addicted to eating couch cushions and that’s why she has to frantically produce such a large supply. Her fingers are mesmerizing.

Next thing I know I’m asleep and dreaming that my phone fell out of my pocket, but I don’t want to disturb the person sitting next to me by looking for it. This dream is depressing in its realism, not a flying pony or sexy celebrity in sight. The most fantastic element is that in my waking life, my skirt has no pockets.

Miraculously, I wake up at the stop before mine. When I get home, hungry but unwilling to cook, I eat a yogurt, then lie on my bed and contemplate how if the Internet ever breaks I will have way less marketable skills. TC mark

image – Mb


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  • NoSexCity

    Julie Beck, you must’ve stolen my life during my last post-work train pass out. 

  • Tarynn Law

    “I arrive at the office at 8:45. I could’ve slept for 15 more minutes. Everything is terrible forever.” This exact thing happened to me this morning.

  • anony

    sheeoot, I love your writing style.

  • Kelsey Ellefson

    Forest Park/O’Hare bound Blue line.

     At last, a shout out for the CTA amidst the MTA crowd. 

    • Julie Beck

      Currently Purple-Red, soon to be Blue.

      • Damen Handle

        Blue’s where it’s at

  • Brodie Lancaster

    I’ve been at work for 7.5 hours and have listened to Super Bass 6 times so far today. 
    Hey, soul sister.

  • Michael Koh

    what I find is:
    morning – coffee on the metro north
    evening – bottle of beer on the metro north

  • Frida

    I stare too much at people on the train/subway but I have perfected my ability to pretend i was just looking around.

    It was interesting seeing the difference between the way people in NYC differ from the ones on the Chicago transportation.

    • Damen Handle

      What was the difference?

      • Frida

        I don’t remember anymore. I think I just stared at people a lot more over there.

  • FFF

    “…if the Internet ever breaks I will have way less marketable skills.”
    The correct word is ‘fewer’, my dear

  • FFF

    “…if the Internet ever breaks I will have way less marketable skills.”
    The correct word is ‘fewer’, my dear

  • Jennifer

    My morning commute is quick and painless, perfect for napping and not being fully awake as I always am in the mornings.

    My evening commute is crowded, and dizzying from the copious amounts of people on the bus. Where were all these people when I went into work? I was at work for exactly 8 hours, how could they possibly have gone in before or after me to only finish work at the same time?

  • Captain Obvious

    You forgot scoring a seat instead of standing, only to discover the horror that is your seat-mate, who reeks of day-old booze and cigarettes. 

  • Heather


  • Thatgirlwiththeface

    I loved this. All of it.

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