Morning: The train halts and you feel the first twinges of anger. We apologize for the inconvenience. Apology not accepted. You hold on to a warm slippery pole, and think about the many hands that have already touched it–sweat, germs, questionable fluids. Everything and everyone you hate is in this car. Lanky kids hanging about, their jostling of slangs and nicknames almost like another language. The smell of urine hovering. An herbaceous scent trailing a blood-shot-eyed kid as he slumps down in his seat. Someone without headphones blaring indecipherable music for everyone to hear. A man coughing raucously into a handkerchief, who then checks the phlegm and stashes it back into his pocket. Stand clear of the closing door. Your grip on the pole tightens as people pass by, looking for seats, their flab sliding against you. Please do not hold the doors open!!!
Late evening: There’s a young couple facing each other, huddled and close enough to touch. But they show restraint, aware of others, or shy themselves. You sense that a look has passed between them, the kind that only couples are privy to, and you wonder if they’ve already imagined up a life together. A few steps away, a blue-eyed baby is strapped to his mother’s chest, his hands exploring the creases of her face. He listens with wonder to the words she says only to him. Everyone seems to be reading, their books shielding themselves against the world, and you know and understand what it’s like to exist in two places at once. The car is soundless. You suppose that life, in this moment, isn’t that bad.
Reminder about my Fleeting Thoughts series: releasing my imperfect, unfiltered words that often occur when my body is still, but my mind is racing.