Underground

02/12/2011

Day after day I would take this train
for six long, beautiful years
day in
day out
several metres underground, clustered by others
so many others
rushing to get to work on time
girls with freshly washed hair
sporting the latest fashion trend
babbling with their friends
and men in their late 40s, briefcase in one hand
coat in the other
some whispering on their mobile phones between stops
absent minded
or frowning,
staring blank at the train windows
the world weighing heavy on their shoulders;
it’s been a while since I last took that route
during rush hour
not much has changed since
except, the frowning faces are even more now
people have lost their smiles
work troubles, unpaid bills and what have you...
The Sun can make it all go away
it can make it all better
but we are still several metres underground…
Ever since I quit my job down-town to work from home,
I’ve grown accustomed to owning my personal breathing space
Squashed among the other passengers,
my insides are screaming for fresh air
Two more minutes…
I notice a young woman facing the wagon door
I can’t see her face as I’m standing right behind her
but my eyes focus on the tattoo at the back of her pale neck
this too shall pass”, the ink reads;
this ought to be a sign, I think to myself
and I almost giggle among the frowning faces
geez, I have to stop doing that in public
I wish I could take a photo of the woman and her neck
with the precious message
actually,
I can
but I won’t
It’d feel like an intrusion
The door opens and the woman mingles with the colourful crowd
while I gasp for air
A four-year old boy and his mother are standing near the edge of the opposite platform
The boy’s frisking about, obviously excited at the buzz of the approaching train:
“it’s coming, Mummy, it’s coming, it's coming!”

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