The rumble of the subway echoes underground as your seat vibrates left and right. You sway, a little nauseous and weary. The bag on your lap threatens to jump off, so you readjust yourself and hold it tighter to your chest.
Someone coughs, followed by a laugh further down the train.
You sigh, but without reason. Glancing at the advertisements, you look at the faces and words, but nothing registers. You read them twice more. The next station is announced, and a wave of familiarity takes over for a moment. Yes, you know this stop.
You consider taking out your headphones and listen to some music, but you don’t feel like listening to the same songs as you did yesterday, on this very subway. So you don’t.
You catch a woman’s eye, sitting across from you, and both of you turn away immediately. The man sitting beside you shifts his weight and his arm brushes against yours. The train stops, and people shuffle in and out. You close your eyes for a long moment, then look around again.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, registers in your mind. You stare blankly ahead, without emotion, thought, or consciousness. Everyone around you does the same.
Suddenly you remember a story you once heard. The author said how everyone was losing their memory to the buses and trains and soon, we’ll all be emotionless drones that walk in and out of transits.
Slowly, you drift into a state of clarity. This is what everyone has become. Robotic machines that commute each day, without thinking. We stand separately, headphones in, books in our hands. We don’t speak to each other, each of us lost in a blank, white world. We are alone, even when surrounded by others. And the worst part is, we don’t mind.
The subway stops again. People file in and out, hurriedly. You wonder why everyone is always walking fast.
The doors shut, and someone new sits down next to you. She drops a quarter, and you pick it up for her. She says thanks. You turn away.
You cross your ankles, then uncross them.
Some time passes, and you doze off, drifting. Your stop is announced, and you wobble up to the door. You think about nothing.
Stepping off the subway, you look around.
And you keep walking.