Generally, I do not run into too many people who may have mental issues when I ride the train in Chicago. At least not on the train line I am on 99% of the time. Last night however, I did encounter what can only be described as a woman who has some problem.
If you are unfamiliar with the El trains in Chicago, most of the stops on a given line the doors will open on one side of the car or the other. On the Brown line, they usually open on the right with a few exceptions. If I do not get a seat or just feel like standing, I will stand by the doors on the side of the car where the doors will not be opening so that I am out of the way. I did this last night like I normally do.
However, as we were approaching the Fullerton stop, I was attempting to read an article about Toronto Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland (also a former Chicago Blackhawk) when the doors opened where I was standing. As we got there, apparently I took too long to move my phone because this snotty woman gets on and says “it’s a door” apparently believing that I was taking up too much space and didn’t get out of her way so she could get on the train.
Keep in mind, I was not blocking the door at all to people getting on and off the train. Me being me then said “whatever bitch” as she got on the train. She then proceeded to stand by the doors on the opposite side of the car. These are the doors where people are most likely to enter and exit the train.
After she gets over there and the train leaves the station, she then starts trying to plead her case about people being in the way to the guy standing by those doors. He politely told her to not bother him and she then starts in on about how people shouldn’t stand by the doors. He then asked her why she was and from there, things got weird.
She then for no reason anyone could tell starts berating this guy and when he told her again to stop talking to him, she starts in on how she can stand where she wants and talk to whomever she pleases. He then said my music is more entertaining and to stop. She apparently not taking a hint further berates him and he then started to swear at her.
Apparently, not getting the hint starts talking about he must be such a “man” to swear at a woman and threaten one. Mind you, he didn’t threaten her but asked her to stop talking to him and yelling at him for no reason. Finally we arrived at the next stop (Diversey) and she the stood at the door yelling at him about how he must feel so manly giving her the finger. It was a bizarre scene for sure.
After the train left Diversey, then everyone on the train was asking what the hell just happened. I felt a need to apologize for “starting” the whole thing because it was me who initially was “blocking” (I wasn’t and all the “sane” people on the train realized this) her way on to the train. After that, some others started to speculate about what her problem was. Needless to say, most of the comments were sexist and not kind so I won’t repeat them. However, clearly there was something wrong with this lady.
Part of me wonders if she just doesn’t ride public transit enough to know that the riders don’t cater to her. It isn’t like we were in a limousine to cart her around. And the train wasn’t crowded either so it wasn’t like I was in her way to begin with. Oh the joys of riding public transit in a big city. And if there is something wrong with that woman, hopefully she is getting help because if not and she keeps acting as she was toward this man who was minding his business, well, she will end up getting smacked or worse for her behavior.