The constant agitation of being bumped into on a crowded subway car can eat at your soul.
Like a small child tugging at your coat, thousands of strangers take a piece of you. Piece by piece, little by little, the bodies being pushed in your direction catch you off guard.
Some will try and steal your spot, edging their way closer to the safety handles as if you weren't even their. Placing their pointed elbows into your sides like a kid with a shovel at the beach. Scooping you away and displacing you like grains of sand. Dust.
They knock your book out of your hand. They throw you off balance. The air, thick with the breath of hundreds shoved into where 50 should be...it fills your lungs. Claustrophobic and indifferent you look to the window for assurance. But you can't see anything, but the cold underground flying by. Your reflection isn't reassuring. It's disturbing. Hollow eyes and a pale face. Routine. Death.
Like a mass grave on wheels you go careening into the unknown. And between flashes of light in the form of station stops, you feel dead. Catching only your wan reflection in the car mirror, you remember how it feels in the surface.
More and more people shove their way into the car. On this subway nobody ever leaves. Just more and more bodies packing in, laden with headphones and distaste for the tiny space they've been given. I shudder.
Nobody around you knows your name, or the language you speak. They are sleeping or walking while asleep. You are wide eyed breathing shallowly in your 7 dollar trench coat. Things are moving toward an unexpected and unknown destination.
There is nothing comforting you but the sound of music and the ink on a digital page. You are alone.
You have nobody to talk to.
And in the motion of the rocking metal compartment, more and more people end up pushing you. Trying to knock you down. Eerily waiting for you to screw up and lose your attention so they can take your spot or steal your seat. It's a shark tank devoid of blood. Everyone is hungry.
Life is like a crowded subway car. People will try and move you along, put you in places you don't want to stand. They'll try and turn you into a victim. They'll ignore you, they'll shove you.
They'll try to steal your breath. When you're off balance, they'll try and take your place.
At times your silent cries for information will never reach ears on the distant stars you call to. There may not be a reason for the shoving or the hardship. You can't find comfort in nothingness.
The only way to fix the fear is to leave the train car, and hope that the satisfaction of the sun hitting your face is worth it. Wait for the doors to open, take a deep breath and hope you don't miss your stop.