The Downtown Express

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Two, twenty-something co-workers—a plain, yet handsome, white man, and an Asian woman with good enough English—unexpectedly meet as they board at 96th street. They talk.

On the train, as is the case with most train cars at 7:45 am, silent contemplation of the impending work day, one’s success in life, or unmet hopes and dreams occupies most of those riders not reading or listening to some beat-heavy music. Few people are prepared to handle the full weight of human experience immediately upon waking up, and many appreciate the meditative opportunity and initializing semi-social environment provided by a small box full of people scrutinizing each other without the risk of real interaction. The commute, for some, is an essential ritual.

Apparently, the man was a member of this school of thought, and didn’t mind stating aloud what has been thought countless times:

Darn. All I wanted to do is read my paper, but now I have to be social.

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  1. Bwog

    Preparing young readers for the banality of Slate since 2006.

  2. Anonymous

    Maybe you should be a little friendlier and talk and say hi to people.

  3. Anonymous

    I dont know what this was, but it's well written and accurately sums up my morning commute.

  4. At that time of day

    Just get off at the next stop and wait for the next train. There's bound to be another 2/3 within 5 minutes, if not less.

  5. Anonymous

    cute asian girl approaches you on train


    complains about having to socialize

  6. Anonymous

    Agree. How sad is that that you do not have time to smile or socialize. Is that an Asian thing?

  7. lern2readingcomprehension

    It was the plain white man who was thinking that.

  8. Anonymous  

    story of my life

  9. Anonymous  

    shit i did the 'morning commute' for the first time ever today. the stress in the air was palpable. i would need to dissociate immediately, and now completely understand why people wear earbuds and whatnot

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