I don’t complain too often about my height; standing in at a good 5′ and I’m-going-to-claim 1″, I’m short and I’m proud. I might have to climb on top of kitchen counters to get the cinnamon spice from the top shelf (who’s idea was it to put it there anyways? Dad..) and sometimes sitting at a movie theater requires a little bit of switching around when the tall guy sits right in front (when there are OH so many other seats around) but generally, being short–just like being any height–has its pros.
During rush hour on the subway, however, is not one of them. I take the blue line into downtown every morning, generally within the same half an hour window. Some mornings, it’s fine. I get to the station, wait a bit, jump on the train when it arrives, find a seat and things are peachy. Most mornings, regrettably are more like this: Get to the station, wait a bit, train comes and it’s full to the point where there are no seats available. Maybe a few people are already standing in the aisles, or several. Jump on, and proceed. Every stop, more people get on, and less to none get off. I begin to imagine this must be how sausages are made.
At my height, my view can pretty much be filled with everyone else’s shoulders and backs. Everyone except the short mexican man to my right. He’s near my level. I’m sure I’m the only one who feels the bond there. It becomes a less fun version of the Sardines game I played maybe a few times when I was younger–you know, the game that’s sort-of like hide and seek but instead of getting “out”, you just share/cram into the same hiding place until the last person realizes they should cross off “bounty hunter” from his/her possible career paths.
Eventually, I get to my stop, and have to shimmy my way to the subway doors–sometimes it’s more of a struggle than others. I know overcrowding is an issue that’s been recently addressed here in Chicago, but I’m not exactly sure how they are planning to fix it. I read a short article in the Redeye a few days ago about how the possible solution proposed wasn’t exactly the best one because of various reasons to which I won’t bother listing.. but anyways, it’s clear that public transportation is a huge-freaking-deal in cities and with my sympathy to sardines aside, I’m really glad for it. I have my car here, but I’m determined not to use it until I go home for Thanksgiving, and then I’ll probably leave it there.
I know that it could never really happen, or it would be a LONG time before it did.. and probably super expensive..but it would be awesome if Cincinnati had a subway.