My Twitter feed is sustained, primarily, by observations from my daily commute – to and from work, 5 days a week – each trip a combination of pathways, train stations, train cars, queues and buses. Today, though, I just couldn’t fit it all in 140 characters.
Seated across from me on a bench for 6, was a police-line-up-like row of navy and black coats, buzz cuts nodding with each pothole struck and eyes lowered in the harsh fluorescent lighting of the pre-dawn trip. The next-stop pull cord behind their heads sloppily marked their heights and each had their hands folded in their laps, resigned to the coming verdict of the day. Clean shaven (or not), male (or female), it was all lost in the sameness of their seat. Though I waited to see where each commuter stepped off, I invariably lowered my eyes and lost track of a few. They were replaced with near replicas. As we stagger around here in the cold, wet aftermath of the realisation that winter is coming and summer has once again left us, we’re all just another version of each others’ coffee cup and rain coat for a few weeks.
Then we adjust. We come out of our shell-shocked selves. We dig out our winter sense of self; we become our rain boots and our umbrellas.