A Train Ride

Do you remember this amazing feeling of irrestrainable excitement with a dash of inexplainable, irrational nervousness you experienced before going on a journey as a child? To me it always resembled a rollercoaster ride, when all you intestines are displaced maybe because of gravity, but most likely as a result of this enormous force growing inside of you. Your mom wakes you up very early, its probably only 5 am – there is no way you can be late for the train. You sit up in your bed, yawn, put your feet in you favourite fluffy slippers…

The next thing you know – you are already sitting in the noisy train car smelling of food and sweat. How did I get here? What time is it? These are the questions you would ask if you were a responsible grown-up. But who cares!? Mom is sitting next to you, reading another boring book she will probably be lecturing you about in a couple of hours, but this will happen later. Right now the wheels of the train start squeaking, giving a signal to departure, and pleasant wiggle of the car gets mixed with endless conversations, laughter, rustling of the wind behind the glass. You start staring at the window, where colourful architecture of big towns and small villages constantly alternates with pacific expanses of fields and forests. Your hand reaches for the cold surface without you even realising that, and the index finger starts travelling along bumps and hills, printing bizarre patterns on the glass fogged by breathing. All these mysterious worlds you want to explore are so close, but so far away at the same time! Your excitement gradually transforms into fatigue, the lack of  sleep reminds of itself, and you fall into the arms of Morpheus. Your body is in transitional space: between past and present, fantasy and reality, daily routine and unpredictable particularity.

You wake up from this illusion. The sweet haze of oblivion dissipates, and you find yourself standing somewhere in Sunset Park still asking the same questions: where? why? But you are a grown up now, and there is no one around to help and comfort you. So without any clear intent or plan your feet start walking. Quiet residential blocks, just like those forests you admired so much as a child, are followed by vivid, bright streets-towns in a kaleidoscope of constant movement. You feel like you are still travelling in that awfully familiar train car. But this time you can actually touch those outside things, feel them, re-experience and re-live. At first you are beyond excited: something you craved so badly is now real. But after some time of wondering around colourful shops and peculiarly decorated porches, you find yourself frustrated, almost upset for the reason you are not aware of yet. So you distance yourself from this experience, change a trajectory, ruin all familiar logics and trust your instincts. 

This unordered pattern of actions brings you to the very edge of this contained environment – Maimonides Center. Sometimes it seems like it mimicked all its surrounding, turning into an accurate, concise embodiment of kilometres of streets you have just travelled. Its shell is lively and motley: people scurry about, chat on comfortable benches, go in and out of graciously opening giant glass doors, a flawless idyll. But the longer you look, the faster you realise that everything here is repetitive, stagnant, circular. You cannot explain why, but you don’t see any new faces, no one walks away. Everybody is waiting for something, something that probably will never happen. It has become a particularity within a larger transitional, looped space that Sunset Park has become for you. Just like your childhood journey always was hinged to the final destination, you want your journey of today be finite, completed. So your feet bring you to the place that your intuition believes to be the only way out – metro station. There is only step separating you from that other reality, but for some kind of reason you cannot take it. There is no closure, no help, no answers. 

How do you break free from the circuit? How do you make this dream lucid? 

-Sofia

~ by vorontsovas on November 2, 2019.