The train sits – beauty and the beast in one. I stroked the glass window, cautious to get in. But soon I am hurried on by the impatient. I somehow join their flow, like a stick thrown into a river. I am thrust into a squishy leather set. A balding man with a grey suit – possibly op-shop purchase – tries to hide behind today’s news. I don’t attempt to make eye contact. I stare at the stream of people filling the train. They carry briefcases or fake Prada hand bags and yell commands into expensive plastic cubes. And they all have the exact same facial expression.
And yet, while I may be just as much a part of the flow as they are. I am drifting along carelessly – not running and stumbling and yelling. I lean back in my seat, wishing it wasn’t leather. It always makes that squidging sound and sticks to you. I imagined just how many people had sat in this exact seat – none of them would have noticed the squidgy sound or the ghastly forest green leather. They would have been glaring at their watches or faking interest in exaggerated headlines.
The train pulls away from the station and I relax into the chug-chug-chug. It is surprisingly soothing and the babble of voices and general brooding atmosphere just fades away. Fields pass by, and buildings. I admire them all. The train has the same glowering mob, though individual faces change, as we arrive at each stop. Everyone is bursting to get somewhere. Their destination calls, and somehow, they are all terribly late, or so it seems. The destination is so important – maybe their wife is having a baby or the house is burning down. I’m guessing it’s just another day at the office.
Where am I going? I’m going nowhere – or anywhere. Wherever the chug-chug-chug of the engine takes me.