if it weren't for the time i lose riding on public
transit everyday, i'd get so much more done (i tell myself this everyday).
wake up around seven--sometimes earlier, sometimes later--and try to get out by seven-thirty...
or seven-fortyfive. it's been getting later since i've been making my lunch recently.
i'm packed and jump out in the cold, morning blue air. i trek out five blocks to the
brown line montrose station or, more likely, one block to the clark 22 bus stop. the train is
consistent, but farther than the bus. the bus is a quick walk, but always seems to
pass right before i make it to the corner leaving me cursing in it's thick, black
exhaust. either way, i make it to belmont avenue where i catch a red line train to
downtown. by now, it's about eight (maybe a little after) and i hold my thumbs for
a seat on the train. i've discovered the earlier, the better the chance because they
run more trains between seven and eight than between eight and nine.
the past three days i've been up by six-fifteen to catch the sun rise. it's a photojournalism
assignment. i think i enjoy it, once i'm up. i almost just want to sit there in my state of drunken
tiredness, but i shoot and wake and stare and shoot. they're slides so i should have them by tomorrow.
by now, i've made it underground on the red line, almost to jackson,
where i get off and climb out onto state street. most working men and women get out earlier on
washington or monroe, so by jackson i don't have to push my way to a door before the train stops.
yeah, so i'm now outside walking the four or so blocks to school, passing the
central chicago library and cutting through parking lots filled with cars, cars, cars.
it hasn't gotten unbearably cold yet, but it's usually around the forties
in the morning (downtown in the shadows of tall buildings) warming up to about fifty or
sixty by noon. i can get to school by eight-thirty or forty, leaving me with enough time
to shoot commuters on michigan avenue with the early sun light.
i've slowly been breaking myself into shooting people without inhibitions. one of the easiest place
is on the loop transit platforms or down in the subways. people standing or walking to their train
don't ever seem to notice or don't care, they focus on dashing and searching for the car with the
fewest people standing inside. it's different on the street. these people, bathed in sunlight
and cut with shadows, want to get out of my way because they think i'm shooting something behind
them (or they get selfconscious and nervous). i haven't been yelled at yet, only dirty looks. it's
taught me to shoot as soon as possible and forget about tweaking with speeds and f-stops. it's
becoming second nature, kind of like riding public transit. i suppose spending two to three hours
of my day on the transit system isn't so much wasted time as it is an opportunity to get
something done. and as my photojournalism professor has assigned me--to document it and create something.