Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On Waiting for Public Transit

I'm waiting for the bus, feeling the wind in my hair, hearing the clang of the trax bells, and the whoosh as the trains go by, the banging of the bus stop sign in the wind, gray sky, blue mountains frosted with snow...

There's still a slight breeze, the tracks almost buzz and hum as the most recent train whooshes by. A lone plastic bag, stuck to a tree too high to reach, waves in the wind, a warning to others to avoid its fate. Raindrops patter on the pavement, or make a metallic clicking sound as they land on the steel lengths of track. A young man rushes by, in a hurry to get to the nearer end of the platform, a race against nobody in particular. A woman methodically closes her umbrella, in preparation for the train to come.

Vehicles come and go, leaving their passengers to wait. We are all waiting, together, and yet apart. None of us know where another is headed, but we all travel together. The right train arrives, the one that will stop where we need. Those belonging to this train pile on and find seats, away from each other, because we do not feel kinship with those we have waited with. Spending eight minutes waiting for the same train has not changed the fact that we are strangers.

Once on the train we avoid eye contact; it is rude to be caught "staring." Most of us quickly plug into our musical contraptions, bury ourselves in a book, or gaze out the windows as if trapped in a prison; anything to be left alone. It is strange that as humans we need to feel loved, and yet avoid meaningful conversation, human contact, at all costs. Yet, even as I realize this, I sit alone, music ringing in my ears, writing.

Note: This is a guest post written by Xela. Hopefully more will come.

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