When time erupts and propels people out of their home, onto the street and towards the day, it is quiet at first. It always is. But this particular type of silence only happens when the day is fresh and still moist.
From the moment I hear the first alarm session, the waiting begins. I wait for the snooze to end, I wait for the water to heat up, and if I have time, I wait for the coffee pot to fill. Somehow, I am sure part of me is waiting for the other part to start the walk towards the strip that collects people waiting to start their day.
My sluggish approach towards the platform makes the el’s arrival seem just as apathetic. Once we step in, the control we hold over the placement of our bodies is relinquished. We’re off. The race has begun. Luckily, I find a seat that faces a window three fourths full of the pale morning sky. Seconds pass and my portal to the outside air becomes blocked by the latest arrivals. The bodies and bags swell up the space that once surrounded me.
I close my eyes and I remove myself. In that moment of containment, where stagnant bodies wait for their doors to open, a silence is heard that cannot be found anywhere else. The isolation felt by being alone among others is comforted by the collective contentment for the morning commute.
People begin to converse. The quiet illusion is gone.