27.06.20 — Writing


In another little break from my usual programming, I have decided to publish this little note I wrote on the way to work one day early last year. It’s not nearly as long or entertaining as my last similar post, Purgatory, but I thought it was an interesting little quip worth sharing. Remember you can always let me know what you think about things like this on my blog survey!

One of the things which fascinates me the most is when a metro train arrives in its station and someone waiting on the platform does not board. You have to understand that in Madrid, the city which has adopted me, all trains which stop at any given platform have the exact same destination and make the exact same sequence of stops.

So why then do people stand and watch as the trains pass by? Sometimes, indeed, the carriage will be too full, and sometimes, yes, the train will be scheduled to stop circulating at a given station, but given ideal conditions, why do people remain who do not board?

I have been in a similar situation myself once, as I awaited a friend on a platform between transfers. As I waited, though, I sat myself down on a bench and occupied myself. It is those who stand with an air of disassociation and barely flinch which interest me, the ones who’s vacant eyes only blink as a reflex reaction to the blast of polluted air pushed through the station by the train that they have just declined to board.

Do they await the arrival of a friend? Are they preparing themselves for the arrival of a foe? Perhaps the thought of reaching their destination fills them with dread, or perhaps they have no destination, and are rather idly traversing the underground labyrinths as refuge from the surface heat or the stresses of the world above.

It is only human to allow your eyes to sweep the train as you embark, to check out with whom you are sharing a carriage. What I, however, find much more interesting is not those who have boarded with me, but those who will not board. It is in order to look at them that I turn my head as the doors open, and is is they who fill my mind with petty questions and invented narratives as I swan my neck whilst my train beings to accelerate.