BONES THAT RATTLE
The sound could fool you into believing you're hearing the ebb and flow of the lakes waves breaking on shore, if not for the almost-alien whirring vibration. The thud-thunk, thud-thunk, the whispering whoooooosh, and the pulsating squeal of compressed metal on metal.
As a first time visitor to this city of towers and glass, one cannot help but be awed by the commotion above sidewalks and between infamous skyscrapers. These steel lines are the bones and the L is the soul of this city. Without it, this windy mecca would not exist as it appears today.
Nowhere in the world, does the melting pot of America appear more obvious than the benches of the waiting platforms. One glance presents you with society in all of its glory. Class cannot exist here, as bodies press together in the hustle of our fast-paced lives.
As the city of travelers comes to life above-ground, there is an entire city at play beneath the sidewalks and pavement. This underground scene brings every sense alive like electricity communicating down a wire. Lively and tangible, both the unwelcome and the pleasant greets each commuter. Cool air hits your face, bringing with it the smell of brakes briskly pulled to a stop, sweat and urine, and arcing electricity.
"The dark girders of the L are the city's rusty heart." -Novelist, Nelson Algren
The lone violinist on the dimly-lit below ground platform is the signature of the city. Each soul living the path their lives has brought them to thus far. The lively artist in the corner of the cold, damp tunnel pushing her arthritic fingers to finish her piece for the day. The homeless man whose dreams for his life may have ended in a hopeless place, long ago. The youth, with their dreams stretched out before them like a vast, infinite ocean. The mother, shepherding her active, small children through the hustle and bustle of life in the city.
This is the city that works, both above ground and below, and this is a story of the bones that helped build it. These bones that rattle, both day and night, keeping the city alive and awake. - written by Bobbie Sue Baker