By Trina Otero
It’s cold. A stupid cold for the month of March, and the wind is nippy. I guess that’s why they call it The Windy City. BUT the sun is so brilliant and the birds are singing their hearts out to the city folk. Everywhere I look I see amazing, beautiful people – different faces, skin tones, fashion, and ethnicities. Just so beautiful. Right by Union Station there is a bustle, a never-ending traffic flow of people, but no one is really smiling. I stand here in my bright turquoise jacket [a contrast against the few gray clouds in the sky] with a small cup of chai in one hand and a huge grin on my face. But no one is smiling back. They all seem asleep with their eyes open. Zombies.
When I cross the street with a large crowd, I feel like I’m amidst a humongous, yet completely silent, herd of animals. No one laughs or looks over to the left or right. Straight-shot forward, cell phones or mp3 players in their hands. Faces looking at the ground, some chins buried in scarves. I leave the cattle to descend below. As I wait for the metro to whisk me off to O’hare airport, I look around in excitement. Metro rides are fun! Well, to me at least. And I hear a musician a few yards away jamming out on his electric guitar. It was awesome. So…. Why do I feel alone in this underground world? I don’t hear any chatter or laughter, yet there are people idly waiting for the metro along with me.
The sound waves of the electric guitar bounce off the subterranean walls. The musician lets his love flow freely from his fingertips to the strings, vibrating out into the cold air. He plays on and on, a smile on his face, his shoulder-length blonde hair swaying as he bobs his head. He’s alive! He plays his guitar to wake up the bystanders but they are in an electronic trance. Their heads are bent, zoned into their devices, with grim faces. It feels as if I’m the only one who can see the musician playing like a bad ass.
Wake up! Wake up! But they fail to hear the magic.