Tunnels, Yotsuya

Oct 14 2002

I don’t know why but I’ve always liked this view from the platform at Yotsuya Station. This is the station to which I ride every day to get to school. This semester my first class is at 09:15, and my classes end around 17:00 three days out of the week, which means I’m on the Marunouchi subway for at least one rush hour each day. It is not fun or cool in any sense of either word. Imagine that you are on a crowded train. Let’s say it’s crowded enough that you pretty much can’t avoid physical contact with the two or people nearest to you. Okay, that’s a little uncomfortable, but you can still kind of phase out and maybe hold up a book right in front of your face and get some reading done. Now the train stops, and some more people get on. Actually, a good number of people get on. You’re a little squished, and you start to fear that something in your bag might be breaking. You’re kind of pressed up to the dude next to you, who’s kind of sweaty, and the other dude behind you has teamed up with the lady in front of you to crush your arm so that you can’t grab on to anything, and when the train moves you’re doomed to kind of fall onto the people behind you while the combined weight of everyone in front of you, likewise, falls onto you. It’s bad, but at least you know that it can’t get any worse from here. There’s no way they could fit any more people into the car, so it’ll probably either stay like this until you get to where you need to go, or it might even start to thin out. But no. Shinjuku Station is next, and as the train comes to a stop you see the crowd of people waiting to get onto the train. Your train. Your car. Here they come; you are introduced to the intricacies of the standard Japanese businessman’s comb-over, commonly known as “barcode-head”, as you are literally crushed into him by the half dozen human bodies around you. You really find out exactly what other people smell like. You are very lucky if you actually have enough floor real estate in which to put your feet. Any surviving contents of your bag no longer stand a chance. You are done for.