“Help!” she cried.

Vincent Truman

Vincent Truman

While waiting at the Western Avenue Blue Line stop en route to yet another film set, idling my time with yet another round of Ruzzle on yet another smartphone, my attention was drawn by some distant caterwauling: a couple fighting at the end of the platform. He was outraged and outrageous, decked out in the latest fashions from Apparel For Alphas: backwards Cubs hat, seemingly torn shirt surrendering to oversized, rump-roast-styled arms. She was angry and incensed, decked out in similar gear from Angry Lady International: tight red tank top stretched over melon-sized boobs, tight short shorts with matching cracks. Both wore identical white sneakers.

Alpha Male was silent and brooding, stalking the platform in a circle like a particularly irritated zoo animal named Jon, except when he would burst out in an explosion of violent-sounding burbles at his partner; she would retort with accented and automated-weapon-grade speech which sounded like it was doubting any bit of attraction she had for him, or, indeed, any attraction he could have for anyone. Suddenly, when the burbles and retorts got close enough that they overlapped, he stormed towards her and she cried out, “Help! Help!

Alpha Male froze. I stood, ignoring my mindless Ruzzle game. Now, there was no way I could take this guy, but the thought ran though my brain: is this one of the times I step in? Try and quell the anger? Try and protect her while trying to calm him down? I was beginning to edge towards them – two steps, maybe four – when the train arrived.  I sighed a breath of relief and hopped on the train, hoping to see the bickering lovebirds left on the platform as we pulled away. But alas, no – Alpha Male got on the same car as me and Angry Lady ran down the platform and got on another car. He watched her with a twitch, twitch, twich in his fuming eyes.

I wound up standing next to Alpha Male and his bulging, rippling mega-man roast-beef arms for the ride into the bowels of underground Chicago, wondering if he would acknowledge my movement towards him by a generally accepted Alpha Male token of realization (say, an elbow to my nose or a swift knee to the groin). He was fortunately occupied on his phone: he texted and texted and called and called and texted and called and called and texted her. She did not respond. I watched as his face gradually went from mere fake-tan to a gruesome fake-amber. At each stop along the Blue Line, he would duck his head out of the train car to see if she disembarked. She didn’t.

I was somewhat relieved as the journey continued, thinking that, yes, Angry Lady made her point and she was done with Alpha Male for good. Good for her, I thought. Yes, Alpha Male would be angry for a while, and probably pull an all-nighter at LA Fitness just to grind and grunt his anger into submission.

At the Clark and Lake stop, I disembarked the train, but not quick enough to notice Angry Lady run up to our car and wave Alpha Male off. It was their stop. They walked off together, not holding hands but definitely a couple and definitely together.

And I wondered: what if I had been the guy who stepped in and tried to help her? Say the train wasn’t near, and there was an altercation between Alpha Male, Angry Lady and me? And then ten minutes later, they were simply together again?

I feel bad that I didn’t rush over to intercede, but I’m sooooo fooookin’ glad I didn’t.

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