Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The commuter

Unable to disobey the tyranny of the alarm clock, she wakes up. She unreasonably believes that her long working hours will be noticed. Naïve she is, and doesn’t realize that the promotion has already been given to another. Devotion had nothing to do with it. 

It’s dark outside, and miserably cold. She runs to catch the train. In the station, she buys her usual cup of coffee. It’s lukewarm and tasteless. She tries to follow her latest self-improvement advice: it’s all in your mind. She tries to imagine the drink to be somewhat like a real coffee: hot, aromatic, full of flavour. It still isn’t. She looks at the coffee with disgust. The coffee seems to be looking back at her with the same lack of enthusiasm. She throws it to the bin and misses. 

In the train she pushes her way in, winning over her daily nemesis – the pushy elderly lady. This time she gets the seat and feels lucky. She fights to get her umbrella shut, dripping water on everyone around her. They do the same to her in hostile politeness. She ignores them; after all she already had her first win for the day. She feels even luckier when she finds herself sitting next to a gorgeous young man. He too is dripping. 

She thinks how nice it would be to spend a night of passion with him. But only on Friday nights, after a few drinks, might she find herself chatting to people on the train; never on a week day; never in the morning. She opens her book. 

What she doesn’t realize about the young man that he too is not enjoying his ride. He too would be happy to chat. He too would love to meet with her tonight. They both sit in silence. 

In the evening, they stay late at work. They leave their offices, each to his apartment, each to have a leftover pizza. She puts hers in the microwave, he eats his cold. Then each goes to sleep in a big, cold bed, alone.

1 comment:

  1. The cold details running on prose take my breath away. I can almost feel the loneliness in your words. You're seriously talented. If I had half your talent, I would write a novel just because I could.