“The next station is blbllblbl, bblblbllbl station.” Drowned out by the music I was listening to, I couldn’t hear its name. But by the way the first four letters were intonated, I knew this was my subway stop.
I also knew that after that announcement, I had approximately 40 seconds till arrival. In that time, I pocketed my phone, turned my headphones down half a notch, and did one last analysis of the people around me.
In the seat across from me was a small woman with extremely long black hair, and a mint green leather purse. The colour combo reminded me of mint chocolate ice cream. She was starting to shift her weight to her feet, and I predicted she would be getting off at this stop too.
Two seats down from her was a more-than-middle-aged man, with a hairline shaped like the McDonald’s logo. He was wearing a crisp button-down, and wore the kind of dress shoes that I always thought looked a bit like clown shoes. “Ah, it’s Ronald McDonald’s distant cousin,” I thought, then immediately cringed at myself. I always felt guilty when doing those little judgement thoughts.
On the opposite side of the car was a small boy, struggling to hold a basketball. This whole trip I had been watching him try to manoeuvre it in his micro-sized arms. A few minutes ago, he dropped it, and it careened down the car and almost hit an elderly woman. Some people in its path of destruction tried to dodge it while others stayed completely stoic and unchanged. These little moments were very good judges of someone’s character. From a quick flinch or a step back, you could see so much about a person.
Just before the subway came to a jolting stop, I steadied myself so as to not go flying into someone’s lap.
Then, after a "ding" on the note G, the doors opened. I, along with the mint chocolate ice cream lady, stepped over the yellow line on the platform. "Mind the gap," the sign on the wall said.
Handfuls of people trickled out of each car, and I made a note to quickly study them as we headed to ground level.
There was a very tall man who had to duck to clear the subway door. He wore a neon pink jacket and lime sunglasses. Behind him, a weary mother pushed a triplet stroller with only two kids in it; further down the platform, a group of energetic high-schoolers giggled and occasionally squealed.
All of us funneled ourselves down through the stairwell. For the few seconds that I was at the top, I had a great view of everyone. It was like a diagonal waterfall of eggs. Hairy eggs, smooth eggs, Brown eggs, blue eggs. Thankfully, there were no broken eggs. They bobbed down the steps, then dispersed in every which way throughout the station. I looked at these people, all these little details and quirks about every one of them, and I thought, "Hm."
"I wonder if they're noticing these little things that I notice, too."
About the Author: Nat is a high school student from Canada who spends as much time as humanly possible making art, playing and writing music, acting, writing stories, 3d modeling, etc... She is also interested in transportation/city planning and has plans to study industrial or environmental design. To see more of her work visit http://mikkalien.ca *Note: Nat's visual art in also in this issue!