When I ride the blue line, I feel like I’m in an Alternate-Reality-Chicago. It’s a path not taken. A “if I had moved to Ukranian Village, I’d be one of these people” feeling. If I’d done more than dipped my toes into the waters of visual art, if instead of diving into theatre, I’d gone swimming in photography, painting, and design, THIS is the Chicago I would live in….away from all of theaters, closer to all of the art spaces.
I would eat tacos on the street corner in a vintage dress or maybe overalls splashed with paint. I’d live in a loft space with plants and large windows and a calico cat and a record player. Maybe in this alternate Chicago, I would even like coffee.
I would have a roommate who has her own cake business. We would have an herb garden and I would never kill the basil plant, like I do in this reality. We would have big parties with themed drinks, art showings, and live music. All of our dishes would be eclectic and mismatched from thrift stores and estate sales.
I remember my first time riding the blue line. It was before I moved here. I was checking out the city as a potential home and I met Alternate-Reality-Chicago before meeting Chicago. So when I pictured myself living here, I did so on the blue line. It was a confusing time. I knew in my heart that moving here was the right thing to do and that I would do it. But it was still scary. I even wandered into a psychic’s storefront business on Milwaukee. She said to me in her thick Eastern European accent, “There are people here that are waiting for you. You belong here.” Then she charged me a ridiculous amount of money for telling me things I should have already known myself….or perhaps already did know.
When I ride the red line, I’m just going to work or back home, but when I ride the blue line, there is still a bit of magic there. I’m taken back to that time when I was excited and scared about the future. And the possibilities were endless.