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Dumb Truths / Nervous Traveller

He’s standing in the station, staring at both his shadow and reflection on the highly polished floor. If he stands under the lights just right they almost align, creating an ethereal shimmering doppelgänger, without mass or consciousness.

His thoughts drift from himself to places he has yet to see… What is really waiting on the other side? Too late for second thoughts now, as he spent his last cowries on the one way ticket, which he grips, tightly folded, in his sweaty right hand.

The loudspeakers’ echo swims across the smooth walls of the station, filling the sparse hall with announcements that bleed and splatter into one another, like an emphatic acoustic impasto.

He stopped really listening to the departures and arrivals long ago – he knows what time he will leave, keeping the large digital numerals of the clock in his peripheral vision. They swell and contract, as his eyes draw focus, only to be quickly lured back into blurry relaxation by the rhythmic hum of the passing carriages.

All his senses seem to pulsate with a steady rhythm, dictated by the ambience of his surroundings. The heart rate monitor on his wrist reads a steady 65 beats per minute. Other travellers sit in silent myriad poses, shifting occasionally, uncomfortably, reminding him of his own unspoken feelings and apprehensions.

The clock pulses and strikes the hour. A staccato rhythm punctuates the other familiar sounds, announcing the arrival of his high speed carriage. The doors slide open with a friendly (but inhuman) tone, welcoming passengers to board.

On board, he looks back at the hall, and his view is slowly compressed and erased as the doors slide closed. All the sounds that have become so familiar die away. He can’t go back. Time to move on.

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