I am cattle. Moo. Eyes down. Move with the herd. Trudge. Bump. Shuffle feet. Moo. Clip-clop. Bump. Pack em in. We can get a few more in. Shuffle shuffle bump shuffle. Moo. Through the gate. Clip-clop. Shuffle. Up the stairs. Bump. Eyes down. Moo. Clip-clop.
Each morning, along with thousands of other Bostonians (Americans...world citizens...), I become part of the herd of cattle that is commuting. The bus is somewhat like cattle, although more like a prison transport. But the train. The train truly is herd mentality at its finest. Packed in like veal, so tight that you can't turn around. The only way to move is to look down and make sure your feet aren't stepping on somebody else's hooves.
Making your way through the gates...Reminds you of every show ever to depict a slaughterhouse. Livestock blindly finding their way through half a dozen turnstiles that a thousand other doomed creatures are trying to make it through, without understanding or dreadfully accepting what it is they are shuffling towards.
The stairs going up and out are both the worst and the best. People TRUDGE. They take one stair every three seconds. It is an agonizing plight. A daily death march. You are stuck in the middle of thirty to fifty people, half of which are begging the other half to just move a little tiny bit faster, PLEASE. And the other half is acting as though they are crippled and blind and will barely make it to the summit.
But that summit. That summit is embodies the best moments of my days. It doesn't matter if it's going to work or coming home. When I get out of those stairs, I am a rocket. I am a race car that have left the garage and landed on the Autobahn. The sun blinds me for half a second while I get my bearings, and then I am gone. Legs stretching more with each pace. All six foot two of me striding with the sole purpose of speed. Passing anyone and everyone that is around me. Smiling at the other race cars that have the same appreciation for this open highway. And slipping through the cattle that haven't figured out they aren't fenced in anymore.
It is freedom. It is escape. It is a period of victory between spells of living the life of cattle.
And those of you in automobiles? You go through the same thing. You just pay more money for it.