Back in the day when the Chicago subway trains were colored dumpster green, the windows opened and the seats were cotton filled was magical to me. 1979 and everyday after school I would take the subway to my dad's record store to wait for the shop to close. I got on at the Western stop on the Brown line and got off at Belmont. On the train I was small and people appeared much larger than other adults I was used to.

I loved to get bounced around on the seats while staring at people and thinking about their lives before and after they were on the train. Where were they going? Was their family nice? Did they have kids? and so on. I was hypnotized by these questions while the movement and sounds of the train soothed me.

On occasion I would fall asleep and wake up downtown. Downtown was another world to me, a world I loved because everything was fleeting. Downtown, only the buildings were a constant. The train would make the loop and no matter how long I stayed on the train I would never see the same person twice. I loved my train rides to the store.

On the train ride home my dad was always pissed off. "You can't be a musician and not shoot up in the back of my store" he would complain. He loved the record business but working 12 hours a day was not easy for him or for me. I think that my dad used to scare other people on the train. He was over 6 ft. tall, extremely beefy, always wore black and was always yelling. While we were on the train together he would yell about his shitty day, the weather, my school work, anything that came to his mind left his mouth loudly. He would sort of make it seem that I was involved in his tirades but he never noticed when I fell asleep or pretended to be asleep, he would just continue grumbling. The most amazing train rides were when my dad would fall asleep. I could do or think anything I wanted and still all would be peaceful. More than twenty years later I take the subway on my own journeys and so often miss the magic, hear the voices and always enjoy the peace.

- Phoebe