Waltzing Mechanics

Chicago's Home for Documentary Theatre

"Belly of the Beast" - Emily, Lincoln Square

Actress Kristi Forsch grabs laughs every week as she voices this tale in the current run of EL Stories, playing Saturday nights at 11pm through August 18. 

Click here ("Belly of the Beast") to hear the original storyteller - Emily from Lincoln Square - as she narrates the unusually sexy commute she had.  The recording's transcript follows:

Okay so, about a year ago, I think the CTA made some cuts. On service. Umm, uh-  they cut down the frequency at which the bus comes, and the frequency at which the train comes.  In order to save some money. And – that’s usually fine.  Um, and I don’t really notice it too much, except, on Mondays, at about 5 o’ clock.  When you’re trying to get on the Brown Line at- in the Loop.

I get on at the Chicago Franklin  Brown Line stop – umm - and it was one particularly terrible Monday, everyone wanted to commute, everyone had just gotten out of work – and I literally waited on the platform for probably a half an hour, while train, after train, after fucking train came by.  “Purple Line to Linden, Brown Line to Kimball”  - and they were all just packed,  like absolutely packed full to the brim, and you know, they pull up, the doors open for like a millisecond, they close again, no one gets off, no one gets in  everyone’s pissed off.

So finally after waiting there for a half hour, I’m like “Fuck it. I’m getting’ on the train, I’m getting’ on the train, whether you like it or not.” SO - and at that point, like a train had pulled up and like I, it was reasonable, it was feasible for me to squeeze myself in, golden window of opportunity, and I took it.

And so I get on the train – we’re packed in very closely.  And um, you know, at that moment – in those moments when the train is very full, it’s very important to be cognizant of other people  -and respectful -of other people’s personal space, and I feel like, generally for the most part, especially on the Brown Line, where people are very polite -  for the most part - you know, they keep to themselves, and- and they’re respectful.  So you know, we’re all into this together, we’re hanging on to any steel pole or fixture that we can and – um – we go a couple stops--

And I am like being inched closer and closer to this couple.  Um… and at first I don’t really notice the couple - but then I‘m like inched closer and closer to them – and they are a young-ish couple, probably about my age, 24, 25 – and they are very much in love.  Their love is real, it is palpable – and it is not palatable at this moment – because they’re being very affectionate with each other on this train.  So You have this woman – this woman she is I have you know I’ve deducted that she is some sort of eastern European woman – and she’s beautiful – she’s a hottie.  She’s a total hottie – you’ve got a boyfriend who’s this doughy white guy--

And she is just very … you know, his Russian attaché is very, very enamored of him and she is - So she has like sort of pushed him up against the um - the little divider by the door. And my dumb ass is hanging on to this only – it’s the only pole available to me!  And I’m being just like pushed closer and closer to them – so she’s got him like pressed up against this window – and she – she’s like on him.  Like crawling him.

And these people just keep getting on the train, and I’m just getting closer and closer until - I am – I am INSIDE. I am inside, I am in the belly of the beast in their love, and I’m like fully participating and I’m hearing things that she’s like whispering at him, in a language that I don’t understand -  thank God, thank God I don’t actually understand what she’s saying, you know, or it just would have been an extremely erotic situation for the train -  it clearly was for them!

So she’s like whispering things at him, and he’s like nuzzling at her, and they’re like so into it.  And at this point, I’m literally, like, I’m inches from them.  And then they start making out, and they’re making out, like I can see the saliva being passed from mouth to mouth. And I’m like – Okay this is fucked up, like this is fucked up ! Like, who are you creepy exhibitionist people, like, having these very sexy moments in front of me?

And you know what? I was so incensed from having to wait a half-hour to get onto the rape train, that I just like – I was like you know what? This is inappropriate.  There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be allowed to participate in this moment.   I‘m just gonna go ahead and lie my head down on your shoulder. You know.

Why not? I wanna play too, I’m clearly a part of this equation. So why don’t I just – why don’t I just lay my head down on your shoulder and just-- just nuzzle right in? Just nuzzle in and, you know, coyly bat your hand away at me, or giggle, or whisper weird foreign things into your ear--

I mean. Why. Not.  If YOU’RE Gonna invite me into your bedroom - slash the Brown Line to Kimball - I’m gonna show up.

The current edition of EL Stories featuring "Belly of the Beast" runs Saturday late nights through August 18 at the Greenhouse Theater Center.  Advance tickets are available at http://www.greenhousetheater.org/index.php/el-stories