Children of the Trains

Overly expired post coming through

Just finished my last lit paper (oh yay), half of which was about trains, railway stations and what that kind of modernity meant. Works referenced: Cafe Lumiere and Newlywed. Was going on about the foetus in a womb of trains in Cafe Lumiere and about how the train modernity was changing people’s values and relationships.

Got on a train. A child starts to cry.

I just watch. I don’t know what I was hoping for really. I know it was along the lines of why, why you crying child, and eagerly anticipating this movie perfect parent-child debrief that would enlighten the child, assauge his worries and make everyone else sigh at this beautiful sight.

Ha. Too many movies girl.

I’ll never know why he was crying because his parents used the one universal solution to address a child’s 101 possibilities of crying.

Oh the smartphone. Why am I not surprised/bored by this uninspiring narrative already?

I used to think understanding the whys to something was the way to fix things. Guess that’s old fashioned.

They say we don’t have creativity.

Yep. You can say it again.

The sinking feeling that hits when you see them put the phone in front of their lil faces, showing them the magic of a tap and a swipe.

I’m nothing short of unimpressed, though, at how the child’s crumpled face smoothes out and dries up, agony replaced by curiosity, in a matter of taps, and I am relieved that he stops making a public nuisance of himself.

But I’m telling you, this is why their comprehension skills are gonna suck. Cos no one is giving him the answer to his problems, not the right kind anyways. Priorities.

And in that moment all I saw was a foetus in a womb of smartphones, or more like, in a world of VR. Foetuses in the Professor X brain thing, the Cerebro. Kinda creepy.

Sometimes, I wonder if we’re all like big kids and the media our surrogate parents who stuff our faces with all that noise, overwhelming us with too many things that we never cared about but are now influenced to care too much.

Got on another train weeks later, swiping my own phone.

A few seats away a voice filters in through my zombified mind. A little girl is sitting with her mum and she’s asking questions and her mum is answering them.

“This is friction.” I hear the mum say, rubbing the girl’s hands on hers. “Friction.”

“Mummy, what’s this?” The girl points to some sort of label on her bag.

“It’s polyester.” And mum shows the girl which part of the bag is polyester.

And it just goes on, back and forth, ‘what’ questions about everything and nothing in particular, and a patient mother answering them all, perhaps not very comprehensively but in a way a child probably can understand best with their current little heads.

Nearly burst into tears at the hope for humanity.

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