Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chicago Transit Authority

The tracks curve to the right and we, with no choice by design, curve with them. Then there is a straightaway, long enough for eight cars, and a platform. I slow to a halt at a piece of metal painted yellow with a black eight on it. I slide open the window and lean out, waiting for all the little commuters to scurry on, looking for strays, and find a pair of men’s eyes gazing upon me. That never happens. For years, the only people you make eye contact with are the other engineers and employees. They spin above it all, in quick bits of information and nods, but this man, the one looking at me, the one in tight jeans and a loose, long-sleeved t-shirt, doesn’t work for the CTA. It hits me like a rock in the stomach, this man’s brief attention, and I feel the rock sink into my pussy and dissolve there, a hunger that never hits me at work.

It’s the later part of my shift, one that starts at the beginning of rush hour and stretches into the nether regions of public trans. It begins with crushing office employees, girls on their cel phones, men whose hair products have worn away in the day scratching at the surfaces of their iPods, and gradually fades into those who have worked late, the same people but looser, more loud and grouped and exhausted. Then the ones who have been drinking start to feather in, finally becoming the majority at around ten. If anyone’s going to start a fight with anyone, if anyone’s cel phone is going to be tossed onto a platform in anger, if anyone’s going to miss their stop and end up swaying in an imagined wind at Kimball, it will be in the next two hours. At the end of it, you’ve got a thick combination of the drunks and the restaurant and bar employees who got them that way, and their grumpy, fearless authority calms the drunks into a quieter rumpus, the kind that a group of thirteen-year-old girls get when Mom picks them up after the movie.

It’s around 12:30.

The next day, at around the same time, I’m surprised to find myself eager at Merchandise Mart, hoping that the man will be at Chicago and Franklin, and he is, seems to exhale at the same time that I do, making eye contact with him on the way into the station. He bends his chin down and looks up at me, blinking only once and slowly, a slight grin pulling at the corners of his mouth which I’m either returning or he’s returning to me. There is a small dive in the man’s left hand, his thumb on his belt, a nervous habit, but he’s managed to move my eyes. There’s the rock and the drop again, and my blood follows it down, leaving me a little light headed and woozy. I just make the metal sign, coming in a little too fast, I have to hit the red panic button to stop us in a hurry. The window open, the man again, looks back at me before entering his car, my car, with a full grin. When he’s aboard, I can’t remember where I am and take a little too much time to get going, leaning forward slowly into the throttle, ether in my brain.

The next night he seems ready for me, settling his arms around his front at my approach. I’m late tonight, two trains have been past since he would have seen me. He must have let them go through. My heart leaps. He looks seriously at me, then doesn’t look at me at all. He’s inspecting the train instead. Then, when I’ve almost passed him, his hand comes up and a Post-It note is attached to my window.

“Hi,” it reads simply, though one could tell that the letters were written with great care. I open the window halfway at the stop and remove it, a blushing smile dominating my face.

He waits for my reaction. “Hi,” I mouth more than say, and he smiles and gets in.

The next night I’m frantic waiting to get to Chicago and Franklin, missing “eight” signs all over, messing up the announcements, my hand flaky on the throttle. When he’s there, dressed in a wonderfully tight and fitted pair of jeans and an untucked grey henley, my heart whirs more than beats. He has me and he knows it. Another Post-It is attached to my window.

“Let me in tonight,” it reads.

He looks back at me seriously and I nod before I know what I mean by it. My hand hits the throttle and grips it nervously, pulling us out of the station like we’re taking off in flight. There is a knock on my door. I open it. I get us to a steady speed. The door is shut behind him. I glance. He stands by the empty seat and the old microphones, swaying, but surfing the car.

“Rhada?” comes the voice on my radio.

“Yes,” I answer.

“We need you run express Belmont to Western.”

“Sure,” I answer, trying not to look at this man, though I’m sure what expression he has. If timing is an ineffable force that some people possess and some don’t, he’s got it, hard and fast.

I press the announcements and slow the train down. The man approaches me and turns his face, looking into my eyes. This is my last chance to say no. I don’t take it. His lips, the top one stubbled and sculpted, the bottom soft and strong, touch mine and my heart wobbles, my breaths sink and my pussy swells and aches. I reach back and slow for a curve. He slides to my neck with tiny tingly bites and wet, warm then cool with his breath. I back into my booth again to control the curves before the next stop and to make it. He drops to his knees so he can’t be seen and rubs my hips and thighs, his fingers under my shirt, pulling my belt, his breath on my stomach. Sedgwick, Armitage. My belt has been unbuckled, his hand deep between my thighs. I have to come around him for Fullerton, the platform being on the other side. My face hangs out of the window, pink and twitchy, the scampering commuters a silly blur.

“I’m going to fuck you, you know,” he says after Diversey. He has my pants down, my underwear suspended at the top of my thighs. “After Belmont, you’re mine.” My fingers miss the announcement button and I slam it with my palm.

“Yes,” I say, because what else can you say?

At Belmont, the platform again on the other side, he pulls me to it and bends me over, his cock hard against my ass. Rather than a blur, I can’t see a thing, can’t concentrate on anything, all of my mind is down at the sticky, hot bulge in between my pussy lips, throbbing, droning, wanting inside. I simply give it time. The light on the signs indicating “Express” is blinking. An announcement is made by someone who was at one time a train engineer, “This train… will be running… express to Western.” The doors close. My hand is around the throttle. We move. The train speeds as he enters me, his hand pulling me tight to him by the shoulder.

The train hovers and sets and sways and he slides with it, the movements less of a hindrance and more of a suggestion, as if the train were teaching us how to fuck, when to slam and when to swerve and slide. Steel on steel screeches and I moan, squirming. He fucks me slow through the stations, quick between them. He pushes me against the window and a button is pressed by my clit. “Attention, customers,” the warm midwestern voiceover comes on. I switch it off, hold the off button down and let it rub my clit more. “Atten- Atten- Atten-“ I’m coming. “Attention- Attention customers,” I’m bent over the panel, my face pressed into the window, “Please be considerate when talking on your phone,” I’m shuddering, tree branches slapping green against the windows, “or listening to electronic devices so as not to disturb other customers.”

He sees that I’ve come, that I’m down, out, limp, and he slams into me harder, fighting the sways of the train now. He slips his fingers into my hair and pulls my head up. He bites my back. A sound comes out of him, an umph and a hu-gah, then trembles above me.

When he’s done, he pulls my panties back up, my face in a mist of sweat and bliss. He kisses me slow, mouth open, all heat and buzz and I press the button to announce Western. He leaves me with a long kiss on the cheek, stumbles to the door and exits the train, looking back at me and smiling. I drive like crap for the next week, but I keep my job. The man in the tight jeans is never seen again.

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