Wednesday, August 18, 2010
the commuter's chorus
A cocoon of sorts. With a soundtrack, the train ride is transformed. A leg movement, brushing hair away from eyes, a glance outside or more truthfully, depending on time of day - at night the windows become mirrors - a glance to a reflection, yours or someone else's; these all become intimate, grandiose or hilarious happenings. Opening a bag, folding a newspaper, fiddling on a phone: curating personal music choice irrevocably weaves atmospheric power over what is otherwise an ordinary occasion. But then, train rides are never truly quiet, even without music, though the silence of drained peak hour commuters of the inner city suggests the contrary. Omnipresent high pitched wailing, whether from closing doors or simply a bodiless train whine; train wheels comfortingly beat ceaseless rhythms against the tracks, entrusted with your safety (no permission slips), consistency and reliability the only stipulation of this unwritten contract. A murmured excuse, apologies, may I sit here, other polite mumbles between passengers who eschew eye contact - connecting bums with seats the main priority - join the commuter's chorus.