The windows of a metro carriage can be you own expensively hung frame if you let them. Underground peoples have made the effort to place their art out there in the half-dark for those of us lucky enough to be on the inside. Then again most of us lucky people are too occupied with the small terrors of sitting across from strangers that when we do stare out the window we don’t look out the window. The flashing colours little more than a distraction, a t.v. set left on mute, flickering in the next room.
Once the metro emerges from the earth, gasping wet air, we are far south. Here in the swampland they build their towers taller. Rising in stacks, struggling upward, they represent our fears of drowning. Life rafts for those that just can’t tread the water on street level anymore. I am travelling to return something which is not mine that I borrowed with money that is also not mine. By association this journey and these thoughts are also not mine. I am just the boy who carries them back to where they belong. Later I will beg for money to pay my rent. My home is not mine. I own nothing and owe everything and I have moments of happiness that some people will never have.
At the other end of the carriage there sits an old black woman. As homeless as can be. Stories lining her cheeks, sleepless nights hung from her eyes. Somehow she has managed to sneak down here to sleep. For many other eyes on the metro tonight she is on the wrong side of the glass, a Zebra browsing in the gift shop for stuffed Hippos. The eyes can pity as much as they like but the homeless only seem hopeless to those who have never had need of hope. She fingers a torn ear as she sleeps, dreaming of a time before the ring was ripped out, and sneezes into her collection of scarves. The train comes to a halt in the middle of nowhere and I get off, a stop early, so I won’t have to look at her anymore.