Just Unlike everyone else

by hexacoto

“Look at everyone on this train, on their daily commute, fuelling the veins of this city. The city’s lifeblood, as it were, yet each is so individually lifeless.

I sit here, glancing around, looking at the eyes of those who sit around me. What do they see? If you look long and hard enough into their eyes (without them noticing, of course), you’ll see yourself reflected in their eyes. And frankly, I fear that seems to be all they see.

Eyes that do not look beyond their phone displays, eyes that, by being buried in books, seeks solace from the anguish of having to acknowledge another when they make contact. Eyes that prefer the brief respite of a commuter’s siesta.

Such hubris I bear for being so self-aware.

The one foot distance that separates those who sit across me might as well be a chasm insurmountable. The woman who sits next to me, straight-backed and proper, twiddles and twitches her finger, taking care to avoid accidentally catching anyone’s eye, lest she has to give them back.

What is that man with his hands on his chin, shades on his face, earphones plugged in, thinking, seeing, hearing?

Everyone unthinking, unseeing, unlistening, uncaring,” thought I, as I put on my earphones and sunglasses, picked up my briefcase and got off at my station on my way to work.