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Margaret Hicks

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A Love Letter

Posted: 08/29/2012 4:54 pm

Dear CTA card,

Hi! How are you? Hope things are well with you.

I've been thinking about you a little bit and I just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you.

See, I noticed your expiration date is approaching. December 15, 2012.

I'm real sad. I know, nothing is permanent. And I understand some expirations happen where you never even get to say goodbye. I don't want that to happen I need to let you know how much you've meant to me.

I've never been with a CTA card this long before. I'll admit, I was ctacardgynistic -- I would buy cards, put money into them and then ditch them when they got low, like so much soiled laundry. I would swipe and toss, swipe and toss, oh 50 cents on that one? Dump it for this one that has 20$ on it! A little cruel, but so is this big, bad world.

But us? We've been together so long, I can't even remember when I got you, but it's for sure been at least a year. I certainly don't remember any of the cards I had before you. They've faded away. They mean nothing to me.

I know, I know. All those fancy people with their "Chicago Card Plus," all nice and re-fillable on line. But I don't fall for that flashy nonsense. I don't like having my card refilled online. Suddenly one day out of nowhere $60 just disappears from my checking account. I hate that. I like controlling it, like with you, not that I control you -- no way, this is an equal relationship.

Plus, I see what happens to people when they hold their card up to be scanned. Sure, some people make it through the turnstile, but a lot don't -- and they go crashing into it, committing genital suicide. We laugh together, don't we?

When you go in, you come out and very rarely do you block me. When you make your doot-doot-doot sound, I know we're good and I go right through with total confidence.

I've had you so long, you're starting to age a bit. Like Color Jam in October, your colors are losing their shine. And it just makes me love you even more.

In some ways I hate knowing the exact date of your expiration, but I'm also thankful. I plan to spend the rest of my time with you protecting you, loving you and putting more money on you than you can handle. Yes, I know if I lose you, there is no way to recoup my losses -- but that's the chance I'll have to take.

Life is messy.

Hang in, we'll do this together and when you're ready to go I will mourn you. I will honor you and I will remember you by loving my next card.

But it will never mean as much to me as you do.

Thank you for everything. I'll see you on the flipside, or the topside, or the northside...

 
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