A train ride with a headache

‘We’re suffering from brain-fade. We need an occasional catastrophe to break up the incessant bombardment of information.’ – Don DeLillo, White Noise.

The train hummed with the white noise that plagues shopping centers, offices and dental offices, if you care to notice it, which I don’t recommend doing, because it never stops.

Unnaturally white, fluorescent lighting made the squashed passengers go translucent, grey and clammy.

The carriage jolted.

They twitched and shifted.

Most were uncomfortable with their proximity to others, making particular effort not to peel their eyes from digital endeavour.

A mousey-haired, middle-aged woman in corporate clothes stared ahead, seeing without seeing.

She looked fucking miserable.

It’s been done before, but I wondered if anyone’d notice, if I died.

If I, then and there, shut my eyes,

sitting between the two identical looking men, in identical looking suits, with identical looking thoughts

– and failed to open them again.

I wondered if the ceasing of my heartbeat within this soirée, would be enough to wake anyone from the lulling trance of monotony.

I wondered if Armageddon commencing through the window could do it.

Even if there were suspicion of such occurance, the observant victor of this hypothetical would likely be too fucking polite to mention it.

Anyway, most passengers appeared to be checking emails, news sites or Facebook.

They scrolled through their constructed realities with the dulled curiosity of addiction.

The union of lovers was reduced to a thumbs-up, a young girl’s self-worth inaccurately determined, and Donald Trump became immortal.

This’d be considered by most, time spent alone.

Towards the end of my thirty-nine minute ride, a child began to cry.

A few glanced up curiously. The mother nervously shoved toys and bottles in her son’s direction, to no avail.

With large blue eyes, he stared straight at me.

I smiled, he stared.

I smiled, he stared.

I smiled, he laughed.

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