Riding Equal

Abby Murphy, Georgetown Day School
Photography by Audrey Cibel, Stoneridge High School

A snapshot of chaotic motion. (Published: 2019)

WE ALL STAY LOST in effortless motion— motion that would remain unnoticed if not for the jerking starts, the sudden stops, the fading surroundings. The crowd is completely silent, al though these people all travel the same way, facing the same day ahead. The world outside seems small in the face of the car around us. Minutes pass only when the doors reopen, a new crowd rushes in, and former occupants rush out to carry on their days.

In a world powered by WiFi, we remain virtually alone. There are no dings or buzzes — only the sound of our breath ing and the occasional whisper.

Here, there are not separate sections for separate prices. A ticket, a Metrocard, gives us all the same ride. We all drift through these tunnels together, sim ply hoping for a safe ride. We all grow upset when the train is delayed, and we all patiently sit in an empty tunnel, waiting for the train in front of us to start again. Few of us know anyone in our train car, but our sentiments are the same. We just want to reach our destination.

And maybe our eagerness to arrive at our respective stops is because there are no borders — because the wealthy sit behind the homeless, the elderly couple take the seat of the young busi ness person, the lonely student admires the confident workers. Maybe we need borders to feel safe. Maybe we cannot face our differences.

Or, maybe we’re simply impatient because we like arriving on time. Maybe we can sit together in motion, drifting forward, taking in our surroundings, and waiting for the doors to open. Maybe this absence of borders brings us closer together. Maybe down here the world is a little simpler.

Just five more stops until we get there. Five more stops.