Things to Do

I sat silently on the hard seat of this moving train that would bring me to my hometown. It was still a long way to go. Five to six more hours to be more exact. I sighed and thought to myself — not for the first time — why did I look for work in a city so far from home. I spent quite a lot of money for tickets and not to mention a lot of time and energy as well. My body ached from sitting too long, my butt sore and my legs were cramping due to the small leg space provided. My back was stiff from trying to get comfortable — an impossible feat I tell you — in the hard-backed seat. For the umpteenth time, I moved around trying to find a nice enough position that would help me to get through another five or so hours until I arrived. Satisfied — for now, anyway — with the position at last, I rested my forehead on the cool glass and continued watching the green sceneries passing by.

Then the train slowed its speed, a sign that it was nearing yet another station. Soon, people started getting up from their seats and gathered their belongings so that when the train did stop, they could quickly get to the exit door. There was a bit of a crowd nearing the doors since the people getting out clashed with the people getting in, but nothing big happened. I closed my eyes for a bit and enjoyed the cool glass on my forehead for a bit more. The stillness of the train when it stopped were small reprieves I got, because then I could slumped down my seat and put my head on the window without fear of my head bumping the glass and caused me concussion. But soon enough, the train started moving again and steadily gained pace. Not long, it had moved to its previous speed. My journey started again. The steady pace soon got us back to the green fields and trees. I sighed and tried to rest my forehead on the cool glass again, but not for long because it was bumping on my forehead and causing me headache.

I hated long rides. I preferred short trips to nearby cities or towns with a plane. I dislike sitting for too long but I never got the hang of walking on a moving vehicle, so I was stuck to my chair with only my imagination keeping me company. I closed my eyes and adjusted the neck pillow that I put around my neck to help me be more comfortable. In my mind, I could be as free as the wind. I could feel the breeze caressing my cheeks, how it glided through my fingers, and how I could taste the freedom in it. I inhaled and only the purest air greeted my starved lungs, purifying it from all the pollution that I got from being human living in a big city.

And when I opened my eyes, I would see the lush forest down below — because of course, I would be flying over them — its trees were so dense that you wouldn’t be able to see a thing aside from its tops. And when I tilted my head upwards, I would see the vast blue ocean beckoning me with its glistening surface. I would smell the ocean breeze, a bit salty, tangy, just that specific aroma that would assault your senses whenever you went to the beach. The sun would shine upon my face with its warm hands bringing me closer to its embrace. With the lull of the crashing waves and the chirps from the birds down below, I would feel a smile grazing upon my face because I felt that sense of contentment crashing down on me. Soon, that smile would break into a full-blown laugh bubbling from deep down inside. I couldn’t help it, wouldn’t help it, because at that time I would feel totally free, happy, and alive.

Alas, all of those feelings and emotions were all but a fragment of my imagination. And as soon as I realized that, I felt my body slowly descending towards the earth, the weight of gravity pulling me down, and with a start, I was back on that wretched seat in this ever-moving train taking me back to my hometown. I opened my eyes with a desperate sigh and saw that the last of the sun rays was gone from the sky and night fell. I cringed inwardly from the harsh fluorescent light in the compartment and let out another sigh. I looked at my watch and, after some calculation I still needed to be in this train for another four hours — only one hour had passed. I looked at the other passengers who were fast asleep, eating some snacks, or talking softly to their friends. I adjusted my position again and tried — to no avail — to get comfortable. I still have a long way to go after all.

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