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ON THE TRAIN – THE COMMUTER AS MIRROR

Have you ever leapt onto the train just in time, frazzled, late or lucky to be finally heading to that planned somewhere or another? You search for a seat in all your anxiety and then all of a sudden you see them. Unmissable like the first question you cannot answer on an exam paper.

You see someone you immediately realise you are the poor man version of.

Have you ever been through that at all?

You look at them with the same familiarity present when looking at your mirrored reflection. But in one of your perfectly crafted daydreams where your uninhibited lust for life and some form of required success has found a balance. And quite quickly you think, 'shit, this is the person I want to be played out and styled better by someone who looks like me. with all my physical facets. That the dreams can be realised and in fact is.

You sit yourself and your passive aggressiveness down next to them and assess proper both you and them in the skewered, curved reflection against the opposite window.

It is not really a before and after picture. No. It is, more desperately, the blatant depiction of what is and what could have been – for you and for the stranger.

Oh, come on Chima, stop being so hard on yourself.

Written by Chima Nsoedo