The train to and fro

Today, this morning, I saw a man on the train who clearly had snapped. He looked like a dad you would find at soccer practice, you know the kind I mean. The one who wear jeans with his polo tucked in and that brown braided belt everyone had in the 90s. He claps and hollers at the team from the sidelines as the dusk closes in around them. You only know where he is in the twilight because his laugh is so booming. You know exactly who that dad was. Well, that guy was on the train this morning. And he was screaming about something I couldn’t understand because I keep my headphones in to block out the city. He looked angry. Not at all the jovial father you remember from middle school, and there was spit gathering in the corners of his mouth. What animals this place makes of us all. How far it throws us from the person we thought we would be.

Today I saw a man standing on the train, with his arm bracing the door and his head leaning into the crook he made of his upper body. He looked like a bird. His eyes were closed, at 4 o’clock on a Monday, as if he couldn’t bear to see the world around him. And I thought, why do we live in a world where we spend most of our time tired, our eyes closed, our hearts closed, our arms folded like beach chairs in off season? I know what that man was feeling because I feel it too. I feel the tension in the back of my jaw. And the taste of metal when I chew my fingers raw with anxiety. 

I always wanted to live a life of ease. Not easy. But breath. And I find, in these constructed metal tubes and spatula buildings, the lack of air.  Everyone looks so sad, so worn out, so ready for it to be anything but Monday.

What will happen to these precious days of mine when I waste them in wishing for a different life? What will happen when we tuck our faces into our own arms so soundly, we never come back from being asleep?

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