Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sick passenger on the train.

In Chicago, when you hear the announcement, or see a message on one of the boards, that trains are delayed due to "a sick passenger" we all know it doesn't mean someone has a severe cold.

We were at the doors of the train, waiting for them to open, when I noticed through a window a guy was sitting on the floor of the car. So I warned Mich to stand back when the doors opened since we'd have to step over him, only to have him leap up and start screaming as soon as the doors did open. We lurched back and away. He was shirtless and sweaty and obviously had taken way too much of something he couldn't handle.

We went to the next car and a girl was standing in the door, refusing to let it close, trying to get the conductor's attention. No one seemed to know what to do, so I slammed the call button inside that car. A few minutes later a CTA employee came down, surveyed the situation, made a call, and stood as far away from the shirtless, sweaty, screaming man as he could.

Very slowly, people exited the car the guy was on, as his screaming continued he was also throwing himself and into walls. I was shocked a how long it took people to actually get away from the guy. I guess we city dwellers are just, like, "whatever."

I mean, what can you do?

He was obviously out of his mind on whatever he was on. But perhaps what shocked me even more were the following two things:

  • People had their cellphones out snapping photos and shooting video of a man in distress.*
  • It took waaaaay too long for help to arrive. 

But help did arrive and a couple firemen managed to get the guy off the train and onto a bench and we all filed back into the cars and made our way home.

I've seen a lot of fucked up stuff on the CTA over the years, but this was definitely the oddest experience.

*You'll note in the photo that accompanies this post I took pains to not get the guy in my shot. I thought it was important to capture the moment the firemen gathered around him and showed genuine concern for his wellbeing. But I could see no reason to capture another human who was clearly in pain in the shot. He deserved his privacy.

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