SA4QE 2015 - Diana Slickman - Chicago Illinois, United States

I got a late start this year. Around 9 p.m. I left work, clutching my yellow paper and a roll of tape, and headed to the Howard Street terminal of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). I had it in mind to post a my quote at the station, which is the terminus for 3 train lines and a number of bus lines serving the north side. The quote, from Linger Awhile, was printed out in a large legible font on two sheets and handwritten on one. One of the printed sheets I folded up and put into the receipt tray of a vending machine that dispenses tickets and passes for the CTA. I boarded a red line train, going south, thinking I'd tape a quote to the back of a seat or some place but I was presented with a better opportunity. On the train, near the doors, are holders for placards, usually for announcements about service disruptions or changes. The one in the car I was in was empty. It happens that the CTA uses almost the same color of yellow as our A4 paper for these alerts and it happens that my yellow paper fit perfectly into the the holder. I begged the pardon of the young man sitting below this holder and slipped my quote into the frame. I exited at the next stop and while waiting for a northbound train to take me back to the Howard terminal, I taped my handwritten quote onto the corner of a large McDonald's advertisement, because the golden arches matched my paper. "I'm Lovin' It!" the billboard said.
"Yeah, right," the quote replied. Here's what was posted.

The trains were not crowded and none of the passengers were talking into little telephones or smiling as they tapped out text messages. Some were reading books or newspapers. All of the faces, young, old, male, female, white and brown and black, were part of the many faces of the great sad thing that moves itself from here to there and back again in all forms of transport.

Selected, as per my usual procedure, the book from the stack, the page from the book, the quote from the page, pretty much at random. I added the name of the book and, of course, the author and "This quote was placed here as part of an annual world-wide event that takes place on February 4th to celebrate Russell Hoban’s birthday, the man, and his works. Your finding it and reading it are part of the celebration. Cheers!"

I went home and uncorked a bottle of 16-year old raw cask Bowmore that I keep on hand for special occasions and toasted Russ. I thought of the quote, riding the train all night, down to the city's far south side and back up north again, being noticed, or not, by the few passengers who would not be talking or texting, and I thought of the CTA worker who would find it in the morning as he or she cleaned out the train, bundled up against a very cold February day. Here's to them. And to all of you who 4Qated this year. And, of course, to 90 years of Russ!

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Chicago Illinois
United States