Of platforms, train stops and escalators.

My mornings usually start in the BART. It consumes about an hour of my morning, and roughly around two hours of my entire day.

Waking up before 8 10 a.m. is a challenge for most people, including me. And more challenging is how to catch everything that has a schedule: the bus and my legs’ strength. Oh, and also the cold, too. Every single time I sigh a sigh of relief that I’m already at the station, not late for the day’s activities. I stand up before the marked floor where the door’s supposed to open, and by the time I arrive on the platform people are already lined up. At the back of my mind I strategize on how to get a seat once I get in.

As the train approaches, I look at what people are busy with — headphones, earphones, calls, texts, tweets, even… and the list goes on. My mind’s on the empty seat (if there’s any) that’s waiting to be filled by me.

I hurry in, ready to occupy the most unfriendly seat with a bag on it — probably put by a person who doesn’t realize that people need to sit more than their bags do. A person who piercingly stares at you before s/he removes his/her things, realizing s/he can comfortably place them on his/her lap or the floor (since I bet the floor’s as dirty as the seat anyway).

Finally I’m seated. I can put my earphones back on, sit further back with my clothes against the cloth (who knows who has seated there before I did, but what can my wondering do?), and open my book with good-smelling pages. At some stops I pause and look at the view. At some stops I stare at the pages and pretend to read. It makes me feel good.

Read when you travel. Travel when you read.

I look around and see people reading through their Kindles and tablets, cellphones — some mindlessly scrolling, but pretending to do something worthwhile all the same. I look around some more to occasionally check if there are people in need of my seat more than I do. I return to my reading, check out the stop, and as I approach the one before mine, I put my bookmark where I’m supposed to, close it, and put it inside my bag discreetly (I don’t want my seatmate to see the chaos of my bag).

I look around again, and I see the same things — (most) people in a hurry, people reading, people holding their phones, ready to walk and face the rest of the day.

When I get off at my stop I think twice about the escalator and the stairs. The people who take escalators and use it as stairs should…probably just use the stairs. But I do that too (when I’m running late, which I strongly hate), so I cancel my thoughts out.

Someone calls my name and I don’t hear. She catches up in front of me and waves. I put my earphones away.

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