Zen and the Art of Missing your Train
This doesn’t happen very often…Andra is out before me. Usually, she struggles to get to sleep, reading or writing late into the night. If there is one thing I am good at, it is falling asleep. If I am prone to do it, I can be in Dreamland before you can finish reading th
It seems to be a recurring theme, the leaving. Always running through waystations. All these grand halls sound the same, the staccato of heels echoing off impenetrable surfaces, the cacophonous murmer of unintelligible conversations. Is it that everyone is speaking in foreign tongues? The layering of voices overlap and interweave, the faceless sources unrecognizable yet familiar, like deja vu mind games.
Moving through these scenes feels like a riding a mobius strip, a perpetual conveyor belt that threads through a labyrinth of concourses and atria. Up escalator becomes moving sidewalk becomes elevator then down escalator. Its like the space is folding upon itself, enveloping me in an origami of reflective terrazzo and glass.
Being caught in this prism multiplies everything I see and hear, making it all very disorienting. Is that my reflection? I look like I am a child again. Trick of the eye, I guess.
The only voices that I seem to understand are always announcing gates, arrivals, departures. And they are paging me. Have I missed my connection? What time is it? Where am I supposed to be? I’ve gotta hurry! It’d be much easier if I wasn’t going the opposite direction of everyone else. M u s t m o v e f a s t e r .
“MTM to Platform 4, MTM to Platform 4. Departure in two minutes”
Panic usually tastes of metal, like the fillings in my teeth, but in this place there is no such sensation. Only the echoing, the prisms, the kinetic frenzy. I keep catching my reflection out of the corner of my eye, but when I turn to look I’m not there. I go around a corner and everyone is gone. It’s quiet. Another corner and suddenly I am back in the stream, but now everyone is going my way. The passage is narrowing and time is short as I try to fight my way to the front. Ahead is Platform 4; I can see it. The announcements continue but I’m not listening, focused on the glass door at the end of the passage.
“Last Call for Platform 4”
Just one more person to get ahead of, a little boy. I squeeze by just as I reach the door. I catch my reflection in the glass as I pass through it; where is the little boy?
The door slams shut. One seat is open. As the vessel lurches forward I slide in next to the girl by the window. “Hello” I say. “Hi” she says. It was a nice moment.