Standing on the inside of a subway train, inevitably, we will see some stranger in a conversation shaking his or her head, being a good listener to his or her friend’s stories. The facial expressions of the stranger usually is either happy or sad; business like or casual; amazed or frustrating; surprised with elation or shocked with horror, I often wonder whether or not the reason why most people employ the head shaking technique, while conversing with others, is for the purpose of elevating, emphasizing, and demonstrating the degree of sympathy and understanding they are able to establish with and harbor for their friends.
Subway is an environment, in which all types of people congregate. Some, for the benefits of others, keep everything they do in a public space as such to the minimum, while some others, who are unapologetic crusaders of their uniqueness and individuality, continue to act and talk like no one is around them in such a cramped space; like the way, in which they do so at home. Their overly asserted confidence and loudness do nothing but make them become the target of public side-eye and sneer, as a result.
As the subway train goes from one station to another, life changes, enriches, and matures with the motion of each and every open and closed door. People come and go in minutes, our scenery changes in seconds, the uttered words of others are lost in memory with a blink of the eye, and our world views and place in the world deepen and become solidified with every breath that we take. Riding a subway train is more than a regular daily commute, it is also like a traverse through different phases of life.