A man reads Macbeth, making curious notes with a yellow pencil. He looks up and judges through lenses he never needs. The lady reads love stories in Polish and the girl who is chewing on her last bit of gum flicks through glossy gossip. There’s a muted voice that filters, reading off stop after stop. There are eyelids that flicker, draw thoughts and lay heavy – a routine glaze until the churn snaps you back. There’s a girl who is stuck when her phone is off-duty. Below there is you and your mind.
Nobody offers the old lady a seat. She grips her hold, shuffles her bag and retreats. There’s a deafening silence as people look for words. There’s a manic businessman who is scrolling, gripping his watch, watching minutes float. There’s a stranger’s arm near mine. There is no other way. There is an announcement, a halt, a swarm in and out and the restlessness of a city. And people that touch are in their own lives, contemplating how love will turn out, what’s for dinner, what kind of day at work it’ll be. There’s a birthday man who is mumbling nonsense in between sips of heavy lager. No one pays attention.
Because in the buzz of underground, the rich man with old clothes, the girls with plastered faces, the old lady who loves her bag – they remain underground.
While the imaginations set in a bubble of dark and light and advertisements, a tight group don’t dare reveal themselves. There’s a deadening routine. The man who knows where’s he’s going doesn’t read boards and wakes before the stop. Clockwork. Busy work. While the maze below grabs onto the city’s rich haste, the ants grapple, push to take the lead while the loner with a guitar plays tunes nobody hears. The yellow coats are masks, the gates just machines that work as well as machines – in and out. The ladders smell of machine, the citizens frustrated at the tourist on the wrong side. The shampoo ads, this is the car you want to drive and series you should never miss. The brain flutters through all until you make your scheduled escape. The city brings you a new direction – one, again, where the regard of another seems futile. Strange how the maps overlap and cross – just like our workings. Mind The Gap.