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.