When i’m on the metro at 10:30 pm on a Wednesday, it’s like I’m in some bizarre community isolation chamber. The world as we know it is hundreds of feet above us, kept at bay by tons of rock, and sometimes a river. The air is stale, it’s late, and a majority of people are caught in that no man’s land between sleep and wakefulness.
In between stations, I’m not even sure we’re moving. They could just be shaking the train and looping a movie of flourescent lights passing by.
I’d never know the difference.
There’s nothing that reassures me that we’re going anywhere. All that exists is a darkness interrupted by hyphens of light filtered by smoke brown plastic. I see the sign at the next station, and I finally feel like I’m making progress. I swear some nights, my train exits a station, only to enter it again from the opposite end.
People rouse themselves from their unsleep to look out the window and check the station. When it doesn’t meet up to their expectations, they lie still and attempt to read or listen to music.
I imagine briefly, that this is someone’s purgatory. My theological argument is interrupted when my station finally appears in the glass. My bag, filled with martial arts equipment, bites gently into my shoulder, as I rise from my seat. I still have a 10 minute walk ahead of me before I get home.
I’ll take what I can get.