Previously published on the now-defunct This Is Grand and in the 2007 Columbia College Story Week Reader
As the doors slide closed at the Logan Square stop, a shrill giggle comes rolling from the front of the car. I glance up and see a dirty, bearded little man pointing out the window, writhing with mirth.
“Humans!” he exclaims, drawing the word out into several syllables: “Hee-yoo-mans! Human beings!” He’s bouncing up and down in uncontainable excitement.
“Look at ’em!” he insists to no one in particular, “They’re so funny!”
I turn reflexively and watch the people filing off the train through the tinted glass. A hefty, red-faced man with a green plaid business jacket under his arm. A pretty, dark-haired college girl in a black hoodie, toting a skateboard. Two skinny young Latinos with beanies and tattoos, trying hard to look hard.
The little man squeezes his sides and rocks with laughter as the train pulls out to resume its trek to O’Hare. I take another hard look at the people on the platform as they fall away.
And he’s right.
They are kind of funny.