Friday, January 06, 2017

This will stay with me a while

My Green Line train was in sight. This made me happy because it was cold and I was carrying a lot tonight (my favorite Tide was on sale!). I was eager to get on my train, find a seat and put this shit down and warm up.

But first the Brown Line train had to leave the station. As passengers were disembarking, I heard screams. "He's got my phone! He's got my phone! Stop! Thief!"

A young man not really dressed for the single-digit cold came barreling through. Running like a linebacker doing drills. He got to the turnstyle and had to jump over. Since this was rush hour, there was a crowd trying to enter but most got out of his way. Except for one kid. (At least he looked like a kid to me -- he might have been 30.) He slowed the phone thief down by throwing a shoulder into him. They both fell down but the thief -- perhaps propelled by adrenaline -- got up first and managed to get away down the two flights of stairs and into the night.

The kid got up, brushed himself off, and paid to go through the turnstyle. (Really, CTA? You couldn't open the gate for him?) A woman near me went up to him and said, "I think you're a hero. Let me give you a hug." He seemed both embarrassed and validated by her embrace.

Watching the emotions pass across his face, I felt very connected to him. And suddenly I was mad at him.

The thief could have had a knife or a gun. Could have body slammed him. Could have really hurt him.

Over a phone.

Not worth it. That kid has his whole life ahead of him. I didn't want him hurt. I know his heart was in the right place, but I don't care. Ubiquitous technology isn't worth that lion's heart of his.

And I'm glad my phone is a piece of shit that no one else would want.