The train is especially crowded today. Many oblivious upright turtles* jostling for space without even an “excuse me.”
The rudeness is ignored, expected, as people allow their bodies to be nudged into them-shaped gaps. Most would not hear the niceties anyway with their ears full of music loud enough for me to hear but too quiet to recognize more than the genre.
Across the car I see a coworker. She doesn’t see me or is nice enough to pretend not to.
It’s a race without moving. A race while being carried. A slow race full of stops and starts.
It was always like this, but now it is worse. I am uniquely sluggish even among the zombies.
Another stop. The tectonic plates of humans shift enough for a few to leave, a few to enter.
A man is near me. He smells like coffee.
I hate him for it. I love him for it.
Like Multiple Miggs in some PG, gender-swapped, Starbucks-sponsored version of Silence of the Lambs I want to hiss, “I can smell your coffee!”
But I don’t.
My doctor said I should avoid caffeine for two weeks to see if it helps with my sleeplessness, my anxiety, my heartburn, my heart palpitations, the twitch behind my left eye, my life. Now I fully understand those people who refuse medical care for religious reasons. Having to give up coffee has made me question the existence of god.
Excuse me, all you turtles and zombies, this is my stop.
* * * * *
Fear not, loyal readers. I have not been forced to give up coffee. This is part of my Fiction Friday series. In real life I still pray my productivity prayer every day.
Do you like short fiction? Read other Fiction Friday posts here.
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