(NOTE: I consider myself a good writer, but good only gets better by practice. So I’ve signed up for the WordPress Everyday Inspiration schedule to prompt me to write something different every day. This is the result of today’s nudge.)
Gary moved through the station with the fluidity and ease that came with having done this hundreds of times before. The people around him were blurs, just ciphers, obstacles to be avoided on the way to his goal, which was to get home. He had to remind himself they were human beings, other people with hopes and dreams and goals of their own. Not that he was a sociopath, but nothing about the modern commuter experience was designed to bring out the best in humanity.
As soon as he walked in the station a combination of a thousand different smells hit him at once, ranging from the smoke of the trains to the accumulation of thousands of people to the fast-casual Japanese food being served in the concourse. As he walked from the entrance to his train they waxed and waned, rising or falling in intensity depending on where he was.
His mind wandered as he walked. His feet were on autopilot from here. The only active signals his brain was sending was when something or someone got in his way, otherwise it was a process that took the minimum of conscious thought. That left the majority of his mind to obsess over the events of the day. He thought about the struggles of the day, he thought about the successes. He thought about his place in the system, shifting from feeling discontent to the feeling he shouldn’t be looking any gift horse in the mouth because there were others who didn’t have it as good as him. He felt the shame, he felt the regret. He contemplated his own mortality.
All of that and more in the space of about 200 steps, from the moment he walked through the door to the moment he stepped onto the train. Al of that everyday.