The announcer recites each station’s name with arrogant monotony. In the darkness, she wakes from light sleep, in time for the sound of the train doors closing. She listens, waiting for the familiar hissing noise, before the machinery begins to tremble again.
Stones on the track grate against the wheels beneath her. She shifts in her seat, uneasy. Her back is starting to ache. She relaxes, with effort, and leans back on the clammy seat. Her eyes remain closed, as she immerses in disorder that has gradually risen above the calm gravelling sounds.
Her attention falls on the cluttered chatter of those with purpose, as she remembers the absence of hers. She shuts her eyes tighter, careful not to be reminded of conscious cognition and content with her unknowing state. Seeing has after all seem so ineffectual to her, always keeping her away from the instinctive perception she seeks.
The feeling of intuition has been rare, or rather, entirely missing. In recent years, all she had felt was tired and impassive. Her emotions had been distant from her grasp, as she found herself reluctantly thrown into tremulous fights for survival, and perpetual chases after predefined success.
Then, she made the choice. She has placed everything society deems important aside and took a seat on a night train to nowhere. It was reckless. But it was also the only way she saw, to achieve peace and gratification in a chaotic world that thrives on hectic demand.
Now, she is drifting away. Her mind coasts in the weightless air, far away from her world of confused identities, built on influence rather than invention. ‘Inhabitable’ was the word that strikes her. Remaining voluntarily blind to all around her, she smiles and means it for the first time.
The train halts. It is the last station, the announcer charges. She imagines the sun breaking the horizon for the first time. Rain has stopped, as though it had never fallen. The commotion of the commuters starts to fade.
But the cabin does not feel any lighter. It is every bit as heavy, as it had begun with. The thumping rhythm in her heart is suddenly perceptible, as she opens her eyes and recovers little light.
They surround her, staring blankly and waiting.
A little over a dozen of yellow, beady eyes, never going away.