I Hear My Train A-Leavin…

That’s what I think to myself every time I see, pulling out of the CTA station, the last train that will get me to work on time. Pulling away to the bluesy chords and voice of Jimi Hendrix, his tune “I Hear my Train a Comin'” appropriated for the reverse situation. That’s what happened this morning; I had ran my ass off to get to the station, and I’d reached the point where I could first glimpse the station. The train was sitting there, and I knew if it had just arrived I could make it if I ran; however, it could also be about to leave, meaning if I ran for it I’d still be SOL but also outta breath and in pain (I’m pretty out of shape). As I was deciding, half-running anyway, it pulled away. No amount of cursing the conductor, the fickle gods of public transit, the Regional Transit Authority as a whole, or my own lazy ass would call that train back, much to my dismay. I had a good reason for being late though. A real interesting tidbit my Brother had remarked about in passing, just as I was about to leave. I had to hear the whole thing, and it goes something like this:

My Brother owns a building in Chicago, and one of his former tenants gave him some trouble. Specifically, he stopped paying rent. As he started the eviction proceedings, the tenant suspiciously tripped/fell in the building and started a personal injury lawsuit against my brother. Having worked with lawyers for a long time, I just want to say that legally this is all public record and there’s no confidential info here. The fall being suspicious is just my opinion, but it’s a fact that this guy refused to pay rent and thus screwed my brother out of a lot of money.

A month ago, this former tenant did something remarkable; he basically saved a guy’s life. A man was jogging out by the former tenant’s residence and he got attacked by two pit bulls. The former tenant heard his cry for help and ran out with a bat, trying to get the dogs off the guy and drive them away. Had he not done that, the jogger probably would have sustained even greater and probably fatal injuries; his injuries were almost fatal as it was. Here’s the Chicago Tribune article if you’re interested:


So this guy’s willing to risk his life to save a life, but snubs his lease. It reminds me of an episode of 30 Rock where Liz Lemon’s ex, who is a genuine sleazeball, saves the life of someone who fell on the subway tracks. He maintains his sleazeball qualities throughout the media attention, and yet he saved someone’s life. The movie Hero (the one with Dustin Hoffman, not Jet Li) is like this too; a not-so-wholesome guy runs in to a flaming plane wreck and saves dozens of people.

So when it really comes down to it, most everybody’s got a good side. It’s just odd to respect a person sort of piecemeal, respect the good and begrudge the bad; it’s all one person, one complex mishmash of personality. If you ask me, this is why a lot of people are content to stereotype and quickly pass judgment on others, because trying to understand each individual person is just too damn hard. Leave that to God, or whatever’s out there. All I know is I’ll keep withholding judgment about people until absolutely necessary, if at all, and focus on getting my ass out the door on time.

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