I’m thinking about the slow decay of my eyesight over the years as I peer down a subway tunnel, leaning out over the platform, craning my neck to see which train is coming. V? Is that a V? I should stop leaning out over the edge, but I can’t fucking see. I step back, it’ll be here soon enough, it’s an M… oh right, the M replaced the V. How long will I keep seeing V instead of M and keep hearing trains that aren’t coming and keep misdressing for the weather on the platforms and keep relying on the faculties of a younger me and keep losing my eyesight but all these things but still surviving?
“Good morning, Brooklyn, Good Morning, this is what we do in Brooklyn.” The train operator knows. How do I know he knows. Because he does. Underground he knows if it’s cold, if it’s raining, if you need to pull up your socks, if you need to transfer to the express, what’s on the front page of AM, how long your ride will be, how long your ride has been, what you did last night, how heavy the hangover is, what stations you need to hustle through, the election results, the sporting results, what stops you’ll fall asleep at, and whether your coffee is strong enough. He knows every station agent along his route and he doesn’t have to leave his car to know them. It’s his omniscience of mindful action. “4 train across the platform. Get to steppin. Don’t run, just walk fast.” The 4 train comes to a stop shortly before the 3 does. The doors open. Everyone does exactly as foretold by the train operator.