Commuting Alone

I rode the FX alone last night, and it made me realize how you made my life a lot more difficult.

I have been used to traveling alone. That’s what I have been always doing since I left my parents’ abode and started living as a boarding student in university. I used to enjoy wading through an ever-changing ocean of faces. Like every battered soul wandering through this shell of a city, I hated the inefficiency and the lack of private space public transport provides. Nevertheless, it allows me to swim deep in my own thoughts. If I’m not thinking about something intellectual or school-related, my mind would just be floating in a state of limbo. Resting. Not thinking about how the gravitational pull of the earth can coerce different people to crash and burn into each other.

If I’m not into emptying my mind, I would be watching my fellow commuters. I will observe their every feature and motion even through I know that there’s an unspoken rule in commuting that you should not look at your fellow commuters. This ain’t New York City, so they won’t tell me off if I stare too long.

I’d sometimes imagine what’s going on inside their heads. I’d build up little biographies in my bored head. The old guy standing in the corner was a former OFW who would often come home with his neck and fingers overburdened with gold purchased with sweat and tears. The sour-looking woman sitting in front of me probably found about his husband’s philandering ways and is on her way to lay down the law. The couple sitting opposite me just got official a while ago. I can tell that since the guy just can’t get enough of his girlfriend. I mean, his hands are reaching places that would be too indecent in public.

Commuting used to be my shelter, a seen hideout from the world. Where I can be silent and not think of anything. I’ve never realized how big commuting was as a hiding spot for me until you came along.

I now feel the isolation whenever I ride the FX. I see how happy other people are whenever I look at my fellow passengers in the jeepney. I can’t empty my mind whenever I ride a freaking vehicle and pay my fare. My mind has been drowning in you. Your looks. Your smile. Your outlandish ideas. The way your lips formed when you say, “I love you, too.”

You made me realize how lonely it is to travel alone. You made me realize that traveling with you made these long roads a little less lonely.


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