Monday, May 23, 2011

Inside the Outsider

Upstream ~ Scott Marr

The train, elevated to pass through the eastern sector of the city, ground steel against steel, inefficient even at the level of physics.
He looked down at the passing parade of residential blocks, new and not so, business units, scrap yards, schools and madrassas; his thoughts touching the fingertips of all those stories, all those self-contained universes.
They could not notice him, he was, after all, encased and mundane; inexistent, and yet were it not for him it would all cease to exist.
He imagined those stories, strung end to end on a ticker-tape that would scroll from here to obscurity, the letters spelling out the minutiae of being; the broken toy, the smell of engine oil in the sullen workshop; the taste of another.
Now descending, the train took its business below ground, as if, ashamed of its clatter, it sought to chastise itself with echoes.
Deprived of a view save the reflection of the carriage interior, he wandered off into the realms of nowhere, sandwiched between sleep and awareness where anyone could enter and interact with the logic.
“Are you sure this is going to work?” she said, applying something to his temples.
He opened his eyes back in the daylight and wondered why the woman three seats ahead felt herself to be that significant as to share her mundane conversation with the rest of the carriage.
Another woman, one seat across and facing, caught his annoyance and nodded her agreement; almost imperceptibly.
Turning, the passing fields smearing green, he took hope home to journey’s end where the train released passengers to scatter like ants, each to their own.

4 comments:

Baino said...

Captured the joys of commuting and the anonymity of passengers there. Im guessing English passengers are like Australians, reluctant to converse with each other, all donning iPod buds or fiddlikng with their iPhones before disappearing into the sea of black suits that seems to be Sydney on any business day. Horrible.

Pisces Iscariot said...

Baino: Yup, that's about it, plus idiots on mobile phones who think it's okay to share their inane conversations with a carriage full of people.

Harlequin said...

once again your gritty tribute to everydayness is right on.

JeffScape said...

Love this. Harkens to Neverwhere and East Asian apologetic anonymity (or lack thereof). Pretty cool mix.