I’ve figured out why watching snow fall is so mesmerizing.
Specifically the days when it’s snowing and there’s no wind. When the flakes are drifting down silently all around you and you can’t help but feel like something is off.
It’s because there’s so much movement and yet no sound.
It’s a bizarre paradox.
With any other substance, that amount of movement at least makes some noise.
Think about it. Rain…leaves…pudding. Gross.
But with snow it’s dead silent, and that makes you feel weird.
It’s the same with a morning train.
We’re like sardines in there. But no one talks.
When was the last time you were packed into anywhere with a bunch of people and they were all completely, voluntarily silent?
Don’t say the morning train, I just said that.
Ok, an elevator, but that’s a tiny group, It’s different.
Anywhere else with that many people, they would be mouthing off about the stupidest things. There would be some jerk hooting out things that he thinks other people think is funny and two women arguing in another language, and a bunch of other idiots (friends) disturbing everyone (having a conversation.)
All of it loud.
We’re loud beings. We think we have a lot of important things to say.
Obviously this is exactly what happens on the Subway at any other time.
But something about a subway in the morning subdues us.
It’s like when you spray smoke into a beehive, they all just chill out.
That’s what it feels like, people are lucid, they’re awake, and you can hear a buzz of music in their ears but they’re all just packed in there with dead eyes, letting the train have it’s way.
The guy next to me had to clear his throat and he was embarrassed because it was so loud.
Embarrassed. For coughing on the subway.
He coughed once.
Coughed again. Louder.
Then he lowered his head and shook it in dismay.
On the New York Subway. A place where mothers scream obscenities unabashedly at their children.
Where I’ve witnessed a woman pull out a dirty little sack of cashews and crush each of them diligently against her single remaining tooth with her thumb.
Where men sit in piles of their own feces and urine, the smell strong enough to clean out the entire car except for the one sad soul who didn’t register that it being completely empty was a sign that maybe I shouldn’t get on, and then once I did notice, the door had already closed and I was trapped in a putrid cloud of everything this man’s body had rejected for the past 3 years.
He was embarrassed to cough.
That’s the magic of the morning train.