- April 19, 2016
- Denise Lee
Listening to random playlists on Spotify, and my patience is growing thin. I have decided that I’m giving each track a grace period of 15 seconds to impress me. I’ve already skipped 5 songs in the last minute. That couple in the corner is hardly speaking to each other. Apart from the few glances at they steal to peak at the person in front of them, they are basically staring at some elusive content that will no longer matter in 5 minutes. My head is pounding from caffeine because 300ml of a lame mocha is capable of having that effect on me. And mocha is half chocolate. I only order coffee to look cool. And I don’t like being judged by the barista for ordering a kid drink. I’m supposed to be a “sophisticated adult”, not a child. But let’s be honest, chocolate tastes better than caffeine any day.
There are about a hundred people on the platform of the Piccadilly Line at King’s Cross but even so, the volume hardly reaches that of the marketplace at Covent Garden on a weekday. Everyone’s eyes seem to be distracted, downcast, glued to a screen. That lady by the exit is tapping violently on her iPhone – probably in a heated argument with someone. Society seems to think that it’s completely normal and okay to be a busybody, scrolling through someone else’s unnecessary life information. This playlist is getting boring, so I switch to my usual indie but after two songs, I am thinking what’s the point.
The tube arrives and people are rushing like it’s the apocalypse. Someone bumps into me and I almost lose my balance. I don’t understand why people have to push themselves into a crowded train before first letting others get off. Everyone needs to calm down. I get into the carriage and even though it’s packed out, everyone still seems to be in their own bubble. No one is smiling. That heavily pregnant lady shouldn’t be standing in an imbalanced and crowded train but the teenager in the priority seat doesn’t seem to care. He’s busy looking through his Instagram feed.
My red dress makes its rare appearance – I’ve only worn it twice before. Avoiding eye contact with the strangers around me, my hot chocolate is getting cold (see, I LOVE chocolate). My fingers are tapping on the buttons of my MacBook; letters are starting to fill up the pages – or rather, the screen. Occasionally I look up and spot that man sitting by the window lost in his own world of worry and dread. You can see it on his face as he replies his emails. Or at that, the barista is making his 50th cup of coffee since I came in – not that I’ve been counting.
He’s 15 minutes late. Coming in with heavy breathing (I can tell that he ran from his car), he explained that there was an accident – a driver was talking on the phone and hit a pedestrian. And now he’s looking intently at my perplexed expression. Then it hits me. I put everything down, take off my earphones and peck him on the cheek. He takes the seat next to mine. Perhaps it’s time to take a break from the obsession that we have with technology. Let’s get out of here to take a walk. Maybe we’ll see trees or clouds, or maybe we’ll even hear the birds sing. But as we step out, all there is, is a concrete jungle. People walking past not really looking. Not really living.
I just want to live.