Platform

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 27, 2019

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Submitted: June 27, 2019

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I remember when subway platforms were rugby scrums. People, swarming like microbes in a petri dish. The noise, the musky smell, the movement, the body heat. Jostling; you touched more strangers in a minute than a bouncer in a mosh pit. Now the trains pull in, screechy and hollow, on rails that are starting to rust and sag. I hear the doors open with that tubercular wheeze. And I climb on. I go where the train goes, and I sometimes bump purposefully into the empty seats and pretend I'm caroming off people.

I'll never know what happened to them all. The crowds began to diminish, dissipate. Then one day, nobody. One day I passed no one on my bike and no one on the stairs and no one on the train. I used to pay the token anyway, but hell. The whole system must be automated, the whole world, and one day it will break down. I'll deal with it. All those people, disappearing into their ear buds and iPhones and tweets and virtual realities. Their platforms. I ride, exit, walk. I'm real. There's no volume to adjust or cursor to click. Just what they left of their world.


© Copyright 2019 Theodore H. Hoffman. All rights reserved.

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