Between Two Faults

I.

It is a breezy day in Chicago and the light jackets are unzipped. In clear view is the public bus, a little over one block away from where three men stand.

II.

Every bus stop in the city of Chicago boasts its own microculture. Some stops, like major metropolitan cities, bustle at all times of the day. Others, far from schools or supermarkets, are more subdued and unassuming, often lacking an advertisement-heavy shelter to protect riders from the elements. And just like in any society or community, small and simple or otherwise, there are rules, and the first one answers this question: do you bunch in front of the bus door and anxiously pray for order, or do you form a line and wait your turn?

The answers vary and are often unpredictable. On one three block stretch down Lawrence Avenue just west of Albany Park, for example, the rule alternates between stops.

At Taylor and Ashland, where these three men have waited for many minutes now, you form a line, always.

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