My own experience on the CTA:

I had been living in Chicago for about 9 months before I managed to get a date. She was 31, divorced and claimed she was a writer for the Sun-Times. I was 22, a Canadian living in the US illegally, making video games and sleeping on the floor of my office. The night was a disaster - I got shitfaced and ran out of money. I walked the lady home, bid her farewell and headed off to catch the el. Standing on the platform, looking haggard in my $5 houndstooth sportscoat, I was approached by a homeless man who asked me if I was planning on jumping in front of the train. I told him I wasn't .. The train came and I sat next to him. He passed me a bottle of malt liquor in a paper bag and I drank from it. We passed the bottle back and forth for the duration of my two-stop ride, and I got off at California. His name was Cletus or Clevis. He never asked me for money, I think he just wanted to have a drink with someone.

- Chris