Before 12:30 on a Saturday

The performance of my final project in Voice and Speech, which was meant to show what we’ve learned over the entirety of the last 30 weeks, was last night. It ended at 9:30. Then I went to a musical improv show called Baby Wants Candy. Then I came home, ordered pizza, and stayed up until two in the morning talking with my friends.

I always try to go to sleep and get up around the same times every day, or at least do one, so I decided to get up at 9:50, which would normally be pretty late for me, but I knew it would kill me enough, late as it was. 9:50: my alarm goes off, and I’m in that stumbling-everywhere-and-running-into-stuff mode because I’m so tired. Then I realize that the seniors’ showcase (the scenes and monologues they perform for agents in NYC and LA) is at 11 at Chicago Shakes, and not later in the day, as I had thought. After much sleepy-minded deliberation, I decided to go.


Travel time was an estimated 36 minutes, complete with both a train and bus. I jumped on the Brown line to Merchandise Mart, and there the real fun began. I had never gotten off at that stop, so I didn’t realize it was in an actual building. After a little searching, I found a sign overhead that said “To Wells street and buses”, so I went in the direction it pointed me. After walking around the whole of the floor I was trying to find a way to NOT be on that floor, I found a door to some stairs. Above the door to the stairwell was a sign that said only “STAIRS” and “Next exit: Ground Level” (NOTE: no mention of emergency exits). I went down the stairs until I found double doors with windows that showed me LaSalle Street. Great. I had found what I was looking for.

To the right of the doors was a sign that said “Exit to street level”. But then, conflictingly, in bold red letters was written “EMERGENCY EXIT. DO NOT OPEN UNLESS THERE IS AN EMERGENCY” (or whatever) on the doors. I was a little mad at Merchandise Mart for not telling me how to get out of their stupid building, and I was running late. Not to mention we have such an “emergency exit” in the Theatre School that says only to open it “in case of an emergency” and that the “alarm will sound”, but people go out it all the time, and it never does. So I said “screw it” and pushed the bar on the door.

I thought I had gotten lucky for a brief moment. I thought that until the piercing, high-pitched, screaming alarm started going off. So I employed what I fancied an unassuming jog.

I found the bus stop without hassle, and then I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Thirty minutes later, the showcase was probably over, and I was ready to go home. I didn’t want to go back to Merchandise Mart, though, because I think what I did might have been a federal crime or something (don’t laugh. Remember those kids in your middle and high school who pulled the alarm and then they got in trouble with the popo?), so I walked to Chicago & State and took the train home.

After having left at approximately 10:18 am, I got home at about 11:40 am. What had I accomplished in that near hour and a half? A whole lotta nothin’.

Ten minutes later (TEN), I get a text from the wonderful Eliot telling me… what?? HE’S GOING TO BE IN CHICAGO SHORTLY.

But at a train station. And for an hour or so. And that I should go hang out with him.

After the morning’s events (oh wait, it was STILL MORNING AT THIS POINT. YAWN), I was not too keen on going back out, and I questioned my sanity when I decided to go. I had just gotten to the tracks to start this next adventure when Eliot called and told me he wasn’t going to be at the station for as long as he had thought. So I went home. I got home (again) at 12:30. It was ONLY NOON.

Jesus Christ on a cracker.


3 thoughts on “Before 12:30 on a Saturday

  1. Hm. More exciting that my Saturday afternoon/morning. Mine consisted of thriving on the couch in pain from cramps. Almost threw up. Fun times.

  2. Can I first say that this story made me laugh.

    Secondly, that emergency exit at TTS is very misleading–it only goes off after 6pm. For reasons passing understanding.


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