It's about 8:25 on a wintery Sunday night and I'm watching the bright headlights of the Metra train approaching the Bartlett, Illinois Metra station. I make my way towards the side of the tracks with five or six other random passengers hoping to catch the train. I check my watch; the train is running about 5 minutes late.
I look back to my girlfriend, who is waiving goodbye from the warm confines of her car. I wave back to her, then wade through the snow on my way to the platform.
I make it there just in time to watch the Metra train blow past me and the other five or six random passengers.
There is a moment where the passengers and I look at one another in shared disbelief. I look over to Katie's car so that she too can share in our disbelief. Then we all collectively look down the tracks towards the train's tail lights. I hear someone say, "What the fuck was that about?"
And then, down at the end of the platform, the train slows down and then stops a good 50 yards away from us. I look but do not see any passengers waiting at the end of the platform, only we passengers standing now 50 yards away from the train. No need for a shared look this time as all of us break into a run. The platform is slippery with ice and I am slowed momentarily by an elderly lady who is trying to scurry her way towards the train. I sidestep her, thinking that if I make it in time I can hold the train for her, and I continue to charge down the platform.
As the first passenger reaches the train, the doors close. She catches the indifferent eye of the conductor, who turns away to tend to his conductorly duties (whatever those may be). I make it to the train just in time to pound on one of the doors as the train starts to pull away. I briefly consider jumping on to the door's ledge, grabbing the handle bar and holding on for dear life until the next stop, but then I realize that I am not Indiana Jones and that it is currently twenty some degrees out. I take a last few steps as the train disappears off into the snowy night.
We loyal Metra patrons begin our slow walk back to where we started, hoping and praying that our rides had not abandoned us to the cold night. As I am walking back, feeling dejected and overall angry, I slip on a patch of ice that I had so sprily skipped on my earlier mid-winter run.
I skin my knees. The old lady asks if I am okay. I respond by saying yes and then muttering a stream of obscenities to myself.
So, Metra, what the fuck was that about?
Anyone know anything about voodoo or hexes? Can you hex an entire organization, or just the one train? Is there a way to ensure that the conductors cannot sleep at night for the rest of their lives?