Every evening at the close of the day, I walk down the escalator to the platform, deep underground and wait for my train.
In the morning my head is already buried in the email on my phone, planning the conference call at 10 am, walking briskly to make time for a cup of coffee before tumbling into the day.
But every evening, I am slower. My magical electronic devices are buried deep in my bag and when I look up at the sweeping arches, it never fails to take my breath away. Shadows fall over the rails as the trains move by and I am transfixed by the holiness of this place. The rumble of the trains could be chanting, it swells to a crescendo, fades and then silence. Everyone waiting in rows on stone benches, heads bowed in something that could be prayer.
And then another swell of noise calls me and I rise to walk through a door, take my seat and lean my head against a window and turn my head to watch the blackness rush past taking with it the busy-ness and business of the day.
As the train exits the tunnel, I am awash in autumn’s golden light–the kind of light that turns the junk yards and tire shops into dramatic post-modern sets where lines and light become the main attraction, making game of shadow and I imagine construction workers as artists arranging it all just so for this moment. I pinch myself as I pass each scene–whispering to noone in particular “I LIVE here. The monuments and capitol buildings and houses that are white have nothing on these overgrown empty junk lots bathed in the warmth of a sun saying it final goodbyes–lingering to kiss everything once more before finally slipping away for the night.
This is my way home, I tell myself every night. This is how I come home.