Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Heard the World Today

     Mornings are a very hectic time.  Sure, it's the start of a brand new day, but also, ugh, another day is starting.  There are an unlimited number of things I'd like to do in the morning, but a very finite amount of time in which to do them.  I stick to a routine and I can make it through relatively unscathed.  Somehow, someway, my routine was broken.
     I approached the Metro turn-style and stuck my hand in my pocket to get my SmarTrip card.  That's when I noticed it- I didn't have my phone/life-device.  My heart sank.  I took a step back and did one of those slow-motion semi-circle moves you see in movies.  I could picture it still sitting on my bed, right where I left it.  How, how could I let this happen?  My world started crumbling.  I had an umbrella in one hand and a coffee mug in the other and apparently in my third hand my SmarTrip card.  How had I not noticed the sounds of world before?  What had caused my absent-mindedness?
     I blamed the rain.  The rain was the problem because had I not been concentrating so much on remembering the umbrella, I would have had hand space for my life-device.  I looked behind me and then ahead again.  Do I go back?  How can I survive the day without it?  I forged on, deciding I should be brave this once.  Today I would be forced to listen to the world. 
     Without the pleasant distraction of music in my ear buds and all of the wonderful apps I use during the commute, it was the longest train ride I have ever experienced.  How do people do this?  You can hear other people talking, and the rustle of the papers, and the announcements are deafening.  Except on the morning Metro, you don't hear the people talking because people do not talk in the morning.  It's one of the weirdest phenomenons I have ever seen.  The train is packed with people, but nobody is making noise.  Apparently no two people know each other and clearly nobody wants to make new friends with the person next to them on the metro.
     I did the math (I did not do the math) and at least 85% of people on the Metro are reading something.  A lot of them are reading newspapers.  The really douchey ones read their paper folded length-wise.  I don't understand it, and I don't like it.  To me, they're trying to tell the rest of us they're better because they read the most efficient way possible whilst on the train.  It shouldn't bother me, but I look out for these people and in case I run into them later, I know to not befriend them.  Others are reading the free newspapers that are passed out all over the Metro system and will be carpeting every train in service by the end of the day.  A few read books, magazines, and kindles.  Those of us left not reading are surely being judged by the readers.  Without my ear buds in, I could hear the judgment.
     I made it through my morning commute, umbrella in one hand, coffee in the other, stomach on the ground, and a hole in my heart.  I'll make it through the rest of my day, and in the end I'm sure it'll be fine.  It hasn't killed me yet, but listening to the world has reminded me of why I generally choose not to do so.  I've scrapped my afternoon plans and will rush straight home on the seemingly longest train ride home ever. 

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