Like thousands of people do every day, I spend part of mine travelling to and from my job using a combination of modes of transportation: car, bus, train, street-car, metro, my own feet. Viva Sustainable Mobility, as it make things easier. No way to drive to Toronto.
My train trip is a fascinating observatory of human behaviours, from the most basic – like sleeping, to watching TV shows, passing through making faces, expressing discomfort when the train gets stuck somewhere and we all know we’ll be late; and gossiping and sharing secrets as part of the journey if we have made friends at some point (some are lucky).
Even though every commute turns us into robots (we tap the card, get into the train, sit, do X activity; we get up, get off, walk like cattle; tap the card again and disappear in this mass to get lost into another mass trying to leave the station to tap the card again and finally be free and able
to finally start our day, now for real); and the fact that enduring this adventure is almost an heroic act, I have to say that the reward is to observe my fellow commuters and start to imagine their lives and, unavoidably, knit stories about them in my head.
The intrigue of confirming (or not) my tapestry of theories leads me to anxiety, only to be solved if they talked to me. But, unfortunately, people get involved in their own inner world: the sight fixed in their cell phones, tablets, books or the landscape.
I don’t know if I will be able to write a book of real stories or only a bunch of descriptions about the glottis as most of us sleep with the mouth wide open while commuting. The worst will be to describe waking up with scary eyes looking at you while you feel embarrassed up to your forehead as you were caught sleeping with your mouth open and maybe even drooling.
*Bolivian-canadian writer,based in Mississauga.