Thoughts from a Train in 2013

A long stretch of parallelism extends before me, exposed to sight with just a slight lean to the left as a result of a sidelong bend at the waist. Two barriers form the row, one solid and tangible, the other obscure, but accepted as known. Between the two sides, an even expanse of dim light is cast on the generic, rough-stitch carpet. The industrial sort, that looks to be an itchy rug-burn awaiting skin. However unappealing the dingy blue seems, it is dismally welcoming against the darkened edges created by [inferably] the same color blue seats that are not touched by the light from overhead. Indifferent to the beings around them, the bulky seats stare at the backs of those ahead. A perfectly lined army of uncomfortably positioned lounging, obviously recommend by an obnoxious furnishings company as medically recommended for bodies remaining prolonged in one position. Undeniably human in design, the previous physical barrier of troops (seats as you would have it) is not nearly the more formidable of the two borders of the narrow walkway. No, the real boundary is comprised of layered shadows. The darker, the shades become, the deeper the layering. Intensity is distinctly amplified by the same layering that affects color, as the pitch black shadows seem most dangerous, while their lightened kin barely speak warnings to wrest treaders. Yes, the darker depths are solid, tangible, if one didn’t know any better. Withdrawing from individual scrutiny and gazing, instead, at the scope of what lies ahead, the whole scene is most dull; just a carpeted row, dimly lit by way of low-watt bulbs, lined by train seats. A hoorah for this disinteresting setting, if you will.

Upon reflection, if one were so inclined to fill a possibly boring hour with thought rather than sleep, this mundane view is most profoundly (albeit, ridiculously) relatable to the mentality of life circumstances. We, as individuals in a species of egotism, attempt a path of light, bordered by both set, and undefined guidelines. As we focus, the light becomes more dim due to a lack of understanding or mental sight. Still, we see the way by means of stark contrast to the darker lines we know not to cross. When endeavoring to focus on those outskirts rather than the visible path of light, there come into view solid objects that are not to be crossed. Yet, everyone encounters these in their uncomfortably exposed obviousness, and many choose to sit in these places, rather than continue looking. All the while, the seated passenger looks upon the lit path with desire to walk and abandon the encasing solid (usually a seat) in which they find themselves. (Take alcoholism to be a “seat”, for example, to increase understanding of the comparison.) Less obviously, then, but much more repulsive once encountered, are the shadows: the unknowns. Whether they be comparable to variables, or some other layered immorality, it would be well enough stated to conclude that the shadows cause greater despair the more they darken, and fade in intensity (and directly proportionally, condemnation) as the shadows fade into grays until eventually they are considered “less-light,” rather than dark. These, while regarded as part of the shadows when viewed as a whole, are then perceived to be acceptable to tread on when encountered directly, as they are much the same as the lightened path. (Again, for understanding, take the, darkest shadows to be rape, the next lower hue to be sex addiction, the next noticeably lighter color to be unwed sex, and finally the half-lights to be some such as oral sex. Even the mention of such things invites a hint of shadow, doesn’t it?) Yet, all of this existence being so readily available to compare only exposes the viewer to condemnation for their observations: as you would dismiss my examples as the ridiculously overthought ramblings of a sleep deprived traveller.  But, oh! To stumble upon your own such conclusions would entitle you to authority above us less knowledgeable tripes!  Ponder this, my friend, for eventually we all will exit.

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