A voice floats through the throng on the train platform: "hold the doors!" The passengers on the platform pause, parting ways for the voice to pass.
He arrives in the doorway bracing himself against the doors, as if he were Atlas holding apart the skies, all the while bellowing at his compatriot to hurry up.
We, the silent passengers, train riders, are with their arrival, transformed. We have become 'audience.'
They're dressed in what could pass as civilian army fatigues, a muted mustard yellow. With bags and baggage occupying the space between the doors, turning it into their private theater.
Man I'm broke, one begins. They talk loudly, not to each other but to the larger the we that can hear them but will not, if rarely ever, partake in their dialog. Their accents are southern, maybe the Carolinas, maybe Georgia. They're taking the A to somewhere. Getting off at the next station.
"We could catch the A at Jay street", one bellows, the close quarters ignored.
The train stops - we've gone all of one station further. They bundle themselves loudly off the train, backpacks and loudness off to find another audience.
The doors close, the train rolls on, the car feels suddenly and violently silent.