In Transit

February 12, 2013 9:25am DFA Passport Division

She sprays on some alcohol to cleanse the dirt of the city from her fingers. Strangers riding trains have stained her skin, travelling from their sweaty palms to the steel rod she holds onto to stay upright. She feels a slight sting and notices a red spot on the knuckle of her left middle finger. Another wound. The pain doesn’t last and it doesn’t bother her. There are things we get used to as we get older.


Another phone beeps in the room and though she knows it is not hers, she reaches for her phone inside her bag and browses through the messages she’s already seen. She gets distracted easily these days, never able to keep focus and finish one thing in one sitting, not even a meal. Lists are slipped in between every other page, teeming with tasks due before the current date. She rolls the gum in her mouth. It has gone stale. Another man chews loudly along the row where she is seated. She glances at him then plucks out one of her lists to roll around the gum she just spit out.


She wants to write about the train ride. Today, people lined up anticipating where the train doors would open for them, unlike before when everybody bunched up in an entropy of hurry, commuters have finally found a method to their comings and goings. But that didn’t mean that they stopped pushing the other while being pushed by another. It’s all a study in physics – the motion, lack of motion, the friction, the force.

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