Despite the emptiness of the train station, I can hear the sounds of people.
Headed to work.
Headed home from work.
Day shifts, night shifts
All of the emotions and all of the stories they carry, unbeknownst to one another
save the innocuous and inadvertent clues given
by way of their postures or countenances, caught in glances
and forgotten just as quickly.
The station is full of ghosts,
of memories lost and faded from time.
Sentiments once deemed of utmost importance
but that now lie as irrelevant as those deemed unimportant.
All of them, lying together
as dead as dead can be.
There is an eerie chilliness to the air,
but I can’t bring myself to pull out my jacket and bundle up.
Somehow, the cold feels
fitting for the mood.
I haven’t been here in so long, yet I can still hear the ambiance
from so long ago.
I could almost feel the murmur of conversation
the occasional flipping of pages from books or newspapers
the omnipresent thundering of railways
the laughter of children on their mothers’ laps on the way to visit Grandma.
I can hear the patter of expensive Italian shoes
the shuffle of worn work boots
the clicking of heels
the scuff of flats
all running together
as the masses shift and shuttle hither and thither.
I thought about the loafers and stilettos that had once scuffed these hard floors.
I thought about how, in the moment, they must’ve seemed so vital,
Expensive and cheap shoes are buried together on decaying corpses.
I had lived near the train tracks, once upon a time.
After the world came crashing down around me,
it was only in rebuilding it that I found
something as benign as the sounds of a railway to be comforting.
But I did, somehow. It was a reminder of the world that went on
despite it feeling like it was at an eternal standstill.
Of course, back then I was completely unaware
of how I was building up a collection of memories
centered around that very sound.
I didn’t realize how I would forever hear that sound
and be brought back to a simpler time.
I never knew how important it would become, or the memories it would bring along with it.
Equality in demise