Monday Morning Train Ride
The doors open at the train’s electronic chime. A gust of hot humid air meets the artificial breeze from the air conditioning. Even though it’s common sense for passengers on the train to get off first, inevitably, an on-boarder or two will unapologetically stand in the way, eager to rush onto the train, as if that would actually get them to their destination any faster. It’s no different on this rainy Monday morning. A middle-aged lady anxiously pushes her way against the current seconds after the doors open, inviting “tsks” and cold, condemning glares.
Unreal. You’d think the arrows on the platform right in front of the train doors would be enough of a reminder to practice some etiquette.
I aboard the train with the rest of the more civilized commuters. The train begins to move. The air is groggy – people haven’t yet transitioned out of the sunny weekend vibes. Within minutes, the train makes a stop at one of the busiest intersections in the city. The next batch of commuters is already visible on the other side of the glass. It looks like a militia, ready to flood the already packed warship. The middle-aged lady who rushed onto the train prematurely minutes ago looks even more stressed than when she was trying to get onto the train. Her breath grows so loud that you can hear it – it’s a kind of wheeze that you can hear even on a loud, bustling train.
Moments after the doors open at this next major stop, “newcomers” pile onto the train in droves. A man in a light blue dress shirt and dark brown leather suitcase accidentally bumps into the old disgruntled middle-aged lady. She “tsks” so clearly that several heads turn. Her stare towards the man is dangerously murderous.
As you can probably guess by now, this actually happened and I witnessed it. You may be thinking to yourself “what an unpleasant, narrow-minded, and selfish middle-aged lady.” The truth is many of us fall victim to these types of mood swings on a daily basis – maybe not to the same extent or level of severity – but it happens to even the best of us. It’s a new week and day filled with new opportunities to make stuff happen, to improve our lives, and this lady is letting the realities of commuting dictate her mental well-being. She may have a crappy rest of the day, or worse yet, rest of the week, without ever realizing what triggered it. What was the catalyst? Why is my life a big ball of shit rolling down a hill and getting shittier day after day? Why am I the unlucky one? Why does god hate me? She may be asking herself.
It’s a good reminder to practice hearing and taking control of the voice inside your head. The voice inside this lady's head is most likely cynical, distraught, and judgmental. I get it, people are subject to different circumstances and are dealing with different issues in life. Still, it doesn’t mean they need to be the puppet of that voice inside their head.