this

Living far away from the heartbeat of the city means I always exit evening gatherings early.
Forgoing staying out late in favour of a less stressful, less expensive journey home.

Almost 10 years of long, solitary nighttime commutes.
Almost 10 years of turning my back on the late night festivities that so many other young people my age have.
Almost 10 years of a question of whether or not I will regret.

I know the way home with my eyes closed and my brain off.
Sometimes four train switches, sometimes only two.

I know which car door takes me to which exit takes me to which bus stop takes me home.
A little twinge of regret.
Down the stairs through the turnstiles down the stairs again wait at the car doors.
Am I missing out? There would have been laughter.
A book in my hand, music in my ears and new blisters on the soles of my feet.
I breathe in the solitude and tremble a little at the exquisite loveliness of being alone in a crowded city.
The music playing is old, music that has always played all these years home.
This. All this.

The bodies move with the train.
The door opens and the train empties. It has always emptied at this stop.
I am reading about a boy who discovered the magic of reading on his commute.
I laugh out loud.
When I walk out of car seven I walk to the car six platforms because they will take me to the escalator on the side of the station I want to be.
I check the time, three minutes to spare.

On the way down I catch a glimpse of my sister’s silhouette and run after her.
Both of us on the 10PM commute home.

Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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