A soot covered sparrow hopping on the platform would’ve been the saddest thing I’ve seen if I hadn’t caved to the compulsion to look away.
Standing on a street corner will make a Cynic out of you. Diogenes lived on one so imagine that. Riding on the subway is like that street corner amplified. The dirt is more visible and accumulated, the disregard more regardable and the humanity more inhumane. The real difference is that inside the subway car (or tucked below the streets in an underground station) there is no big open sky like on the street corner that gives the Cynic her hope. Riding the train will not make a Cynic out of you, it will only make a cynic out of you.
Imagine the collected absent-minded ticks of all the subway riders, removed from their original owners and brought together en masse to create a new person of only ticks or, in other words, another ordinary but new person.