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Fiction

My job ends at 5:35pm and I leave the lot at about 6 o'clock after I have fixed myself for the eye to see. The train stops at exactly 6 15pm and I am always on time. This evening the train is crowded. We have shifting bodies muddling and hanging for dear life on the console and the leather loop that hangs overhead to keep us from falling after swaying left to right with the rails of the railroad. I love this time of the day. It is the only time that I have to myself and I also get to review the events of the day. Most in this particular train are wearing dust coast and scarves. The weather was ugly this past week.

Many are from work and school while others are train bound from shopping or sight seeing. And of course in any given train ride, there are always some hoodlums who ride without a ticket or a true destination. As we all hang on to the movements of the train as they direct us to the flimsy gravity, we allow our bodies to follow suit. Some of us read books, or magazines and newspapers obeying where the train is taking us.

I remember once wondering why there had to be two drivers on the train which I always imagined needed a team of drivers. Sure enough they were engineers. Others were ticket examiners. That makes a team right? However, once the train is this full no one can in their right mind ask for a ticket or find a place to even have a chance to produce a ticket when asked.

In some cases the train maroons it's way and is heard by those unseen, as it descends to dark subways and tunnels. At his point, I would be looking around me and wondering where my purse is. I am not the only one who feels this way. If one is lucky one can see the images of the landscape or the cars and flickering lights with large advertising boards sharing the message of the day. Sometimes there would be smells of restaurants and dishes prepared in outdoor ovens. Left and right pedestrians not to be outdone by those in cars and trains, walk hand in hand seeking and hunting for sales.

We sit in the train contained with all of our belongings and whatever we may have bought on our trips not even regretting that we are not pedestrians. The lights and the announcements of the next stop are always competing for our attention. Occasionally I would catch the eye of a curious onlooker who in my mind would be wondering if I am married of happy. While almost always there would be a couple in the train that already knows that they make each other happy. While most on this particular 6 15 train would be returning from work tired having stood for hours earning a living wage.

Never has there been a day or evening when I have been on a train and there isn't a loud speaker who also laughs at her own or his own jokes. It is amazing to see friends exchange conversations in such an enclosed space yet they cannot miss a moment of knowing that the following day they will do it all over again. Sometimes others enter the train running from someone or something. On such occasions we sit tight and hold on to our purses and pray that they will depart on the next stop which they never do.

Others bring headphones and listen to the news, sports, music what have you; to forget the rituals of sitting in a train and looking around for familiar faces.

On this occasion, as more and more passengers depart from the train and I get to relax a bit, I plan my day for the next morning. I think about what I will prepare for dinner. I wonder if everyone made it safely at home. I anticipate my trip from the train to my house with worry if someone will hurt me on my way home! I open my purse and check the time. Sometimes I use my phone to text my family to let them know that I am still on the train.

And then it always happens when finally there are enough passengers in the train that all of us can sit down and enjoy the ride and the scenery, the trees, the mountains, the rivers, with no one in sight, show themselves. I relax at these moments because it is like I am being asked to give up and stop resisting nature. It is one of the reasons why I ride the train instead of taking a taxi. I am daily rejuvenated by the scenery of nature as if to conclude an imposing day with green peace.


In the summertime the green grass is punctuated by flowers that bloom wildly. In the winter, although the vegetation seems like it is dead, there are some bursts of fruits that some trees bear in the wintertime which is always surprising because summer is usually associated with abundance of nature. In the winter time not only are some of the trees bare, the roads are sometimes dusty and windy. May we not miss autumn when the weather and the grass are starting to turn green again. When trees are again bearing leaves. The train lets us witness this every year as season's change. My favorite time of the year is the summer time when it rains. The trees yield to the rain and the swooshing wind. The water oozes on the gutters of the train. Passengers carry raincoats and umbrellas duck inside the train for warmth.

The smell of moist sand and wet heavy cotton coats can be intoxicating. The inconvenience of the rain can also be challenging but to see passengers deal with it like any other event in life is always interesting. The green pastures that sometimes have cows grazing over them make the scenes passed by our train seem like a postcard. By the time I have to depart and walk home, I am always a full human being.


April 21, 2021 23:04

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