Many years ago, I was assaulted on the CTA. There was no physical violence, but the man screamed at me, which mostly involved how I wasn’t treating him respectfully (Which happened when I finally broke from all of his very graphic descriptions of how he was going to murder me. Face stabbing was a big one.).
The CTA has been pretty harrowing for me ever since, and it’s not like I have many choices about how to get around, I can’t afford a car. That’s the thing with PTSD, once I experience something traumatic like that, I get to relive it over and over again.
So basically for many years it felt like putting my life on the line every time I got on the L.
Recently I was making my usual commute, and this guy in front of me was seriously in my personal space. In a very unusual way. I wrote this poem on the spot.
There’s something magical about it.
The way this stranger’s body
Curves around his seat back.
I should feel like my space
Is being invaded,
Like I’m trapped.
I don’t though.
I feel cocooned.
Defended by a Guardian
In hoodie armor.