A train hauls a full load of morose passengers under my nose, hissing brakes and crackling voltage rails and chatterbox speakers punched in the gut. Here at 7th & Metro no one has ever made out a single syllable or mnemonic through the sibilance, a squeaky drone like the confused wailing of a doomed gazelle that may very well be the voice of the apocalypse, alien programming, or a mic buried in a gazelles cardboard ass. All the faces squint through the grime, nearly all of them deciding to at least walk, if not crawl through steam tunnels or float on homemade rafts where appropriate, anything other than board the train.
When you’re traveling, it’s incredible and alarming how many people can’t walk properly (how do they cope with their infirmity?) In fact, it’s an odd stretch where you can raze the corridors without running into a tottering carcass. I don’t know if this points to some dire future of exoskeleton-like appendages, or that I’m some type of mutant who walks at impossible speeds. I should try my talents at a marathon, but there would be a blockade I’m sure, of slow-moving tortoises attempting to mount the ramp. And now with the price of gas so high, LA transit is overwhelmed, every line packed to bursting, late, with many aged hulks broken-down, surrounded by knots of people talking to themselves, walking over each other, breaking the first rule of transit, which is never to look at anyone for more than a quarter of a second.
Inside we fall back on carpeted benches, slumped over, bobbing, nodding our heads, a glorious urban despair as plain as daylight; the mark of poverty, the loss of hope, of reason! There are hours ahead of me, drifting through pages of work, deciding the fate of countless phantasms, staring at mechanical fixtures that are built to withstand us, that routinely fail.