The only distinguishable sound around me is the thud of hundreds of footsteps, entirely out of sync.Each sound is lost amongst the echo of their collective patter,resounding off the walls of the tunnel. Muffled voices are carried through the dingy passageway, illuminated with fluorescent lighting overhead.
A sea of faces with un-seeing eyes pass over me-Seeing, yet unaware of their surroundings-Registering the thousands of faces around them,devoid of all emotion,they seem transfixed and lost within the circumference of their own captivating little world consisting of hundreds of thoughts.
Every face I pass is different,yet collectively they all look the same; with that detached vacant glare and eyes which pierce mine. A solemn glance across my face,registering my presence,reading there nothing.
The aloofness which surrounds me is chilling but at the same time welcoming;providing me the opportunity to think. Every stranger who walks past holds within their hearts an untold story, going their separate ways, with a destination only they can see.
We stand so close yet our thoughts are worlds apart. The lack of space causes everyone to merge together,all caged in,clinging to the over hanging bars and long tube handles as landscapes around us change and the world outside moves past in a whirl of green and black. Yet inside, time seems to be at a stand still.The train feels devoid of all emotion as I stand there,amidst the scuttle of feet,the brush of arms and legs against one another and the pressured wind passing by.We move across the tunnel as one.
The train comes to a stop;the doors open. The announcer’s voice seems muffled by the rush of feet all scurrying out as the doors bang shut and the train whips past.Somewhere along that long passageway between platforms stands a solitary cheerful being. He seems at peace, happily playing his guitar while singing to passerby’s as he tries to brighten the atmosphere. He goes on playing unaware; with his hat laid out before him on the floor he tries his best to earn a living.In the early morning rush,his efforts seems wasted, as people scurry along; the hum of voices never diminishing.
Day after day I travel,observing yet completely silent. Returning the odd smile here and there and meeting those vacant gentle glances,often wondering what might be going on behind that facade of steel held up so well,only to hide the emotions and demons which rage within.
As I journey on, from platform to platform passing a myriad of machine like beings following the same set path along the underground trains I cant help but wonder.
Are human beings slowly becoming more robotic, shielding themselves against everything, becoming better and better at holding up that steel armor and shutting out the world.
We are all just strangers, brushing past one another on that long journey which lies ahead…