The Silver Box
careening through the dark and dismal jungle, a silver box carried me above dead tree trunks and across a canopy. the box hustled and bustled, jostling my body back and forth, causing my brain to roll around in my skull, nausea to take over my head, and a resulting numbness to come over the rest of my body. i closed my eyes, and in my ears imagined music feebly attempting to bring a lull to my nausea. Meanwhile, my body and the bodies of those around me are still propelling forward in the silver box. i tried to shut out the feelings, to control my body’s visceral, unconscious reaction to my environment.
but this proved quite difficult.
our silver box came to a stop, the doors opening to an osmotic exchange of winter air, bodies filing out, and more bodies piling in, joining us on our excursion across this urban tundra. i noticed my fellow passengers, riding in a similar discomfort, eyes staring blankly out the windows, cheeks rosy from winter’s subtle hug, heads resting on their necks with a slightly downward gaze, in order to avoid attracting the attention of a neighbor, as to not awkwardly connect with someone nearby, almost in a subconscious effort to not let another know that he or she does, in fact, exist — that he or she is there, sharing in this.
my nausea persisted with the boggling trajectory of this silver box. my head began to rattle once again, so i closed my eyes. i gave into the jostling, letting its inertia push my shoulders back and forth between two people. on my left, a man, stocky and tall, sitting with his shoulders slumped, in an effort perhaps to make himself smaller, to escape his burly stature, and on my right, a small woman, sitting up straight, with eyes that opened like small tears in fabric, only letting in minuscule bits of light. contrarily, her gaze sat slightly upward, avoiding contact with others, as well, but in a different way than that of the downward gaze of other passengers, as though she was trying to see over everything, rather than under it.
the juxtaposition of their two bodies — the man on my left attempting to make himself smaller to fit in his seat, and the woman sitting with her upward gaze, attempting to take up more space than the universe created for her — was jarring to me. their dissimilarities were abundant, but their one similarity — their feeble attempt to be all but what they actually were — startled me. that moment of cognition gave me brief relief from my nausea, but i couldn’t attribute too much attention to it, as my nausea began to set back in.
i had to focus my attention there.
the silver box slowed to a stop once again…