It was a little after nine o’clock, and just like most nights I was the last one to leave. As I switched off the lights and locked the doors, I heard the rain start to pour. I took a quick glance outside the window and saw that a thousand splintered thorns were falling from the sky. I rushed through the dark halls and out of the building gates, and finally felt the thorns pierce my skin.
The rain was deafening, but I could’ve sworn I was hearing more than just the rain. There were sounds seemingly within every drop, and the sounds weren’t like anything I’ve heard before. There were rumblings that sounded too deep to be thunder, too rhythmic of a clatter to just be the sound of raindrops against rooftops, asphalt, and windshields.
I entered a small alley that led to the stairwell of the nearest subway. As I descended each step, the sounds grew much louder, and much more distinct. That’s when I realized that the sounds I was hearing wasn’t of the rain, but of people’s voices.
I got on the platform, looked around, and saw a number of people staring blankly at the sheet of nothingness before them, all waiting for the next train. There must have been more than a dozen of them, and every voice resonated in my head. They spoke without opening their mouths, they cried in desperate tones without making a sound. They had so little life left in their eyes, I noticed. Rainwater leaked from their boots, but no lifeblood remained in their veins. Their coats were completely drenched, but you could tell their souls had long since been wrung dry.
They’re all pretty much saying the same things, just in a variety of syntax – all of them are tired, tired as tired can be. Day in and day out, they go to the same tiring jobs that suck the life out of them. Day in and day out they make the tiring effort to feel anything else other than tired. Day in and day out they make futile attempts to make a living out of things that couldn’t even make them feel alive.
And as I listened to their thoughts, as I listened to every rant, to every regret, to every plea, I found myself listening to my very own voice too.
The train arrived. I watched it as it slowly made its way through the tracks, watched it as it slowly lost speed and halted with its doors right in front of me. For a brief moment I saw my reflection in the glass doors. I saw myself staring blankly at the sheet of nothingness before me. I had so little life left in my eyes, I noticed. Rainwater leaked from my boots but no lifeblood remained in my veins. My coat was completely drenched, but you could tell my soul had long since been wrung dry. I looked tired, tired as tired can be. Day in and day out I go to the same tiring job that suck the life out of me. Day in and day out I make the tiring effort to feel anything else other than tired. Day in and day out I make futile attempts to make a living out of things that couldn’t even make me feel alive.
The doors opened, and everyone else went inside the train, everyone but me. I made my way back to the streets, and instead walked home. The rain still poured heavily, with occasional rumblings that heralded thunder, but this time, no voices.