The street above was nearly deserted.
The valet helming the curb outside the Chicago Theater leaned on his proscenium, and that was the only real life. Here at thirty feet subterranean the platform is crowded so I weave through the castes to find my own spot about halfway down. A train is pulling out, and echoes in the tunnel into silence.
It is the Sunday morning before Labor Day at about a quarter past nine, and each soul is waiting for its train. I am standing on the Red Line platform under State Street in the Chicago Loop, the station below the alley down which you can see the Goodman Theater marquee if you look with the right kind of eyes.
Out of the void, rising like a chorded wisp, an acoustic guitar lightly introduces Seals and Crofts’ Summer Breeze. Then the busker’s voice as tender as possible on a subway deck, soothing the urban breast. He hits “blowin’ through the jasmine in my mind” as though he just made up the lyrics himself. That is all the church I need today.
My train arrives.