Morning Commute, Melancholy and the Human Face


Rainy, overcast day. A feeling of gray melancholy in the air. No one talking on the trains, just gazing into their iPhones or watching the monitor or looking around trying not to make eye contact with anyone. It was as if for a moment, they’d gone into some dank but safe place in themselves, the ennui and senselessness of the morning commute being too much to bear. They just sat there, existing but only half-alive, listening to the listless drone of the train and the commands of the robotic Teuton living in the speaker system.

Zurückbleiben bitte!”

Even she sounded more depressed than usual.

On days like this, you can see the sadness in everything from a platform advertisement to the way the sparrows sit in the trees to an empty bottle of malt beer, but it’s always most poignant in the human face, that treacherous, sublime and most fascinating landscape in the cosmos.

Have you ever wondered how many times you’ve lived and died in the cast and airs and changing weather of someone else’s face? Take your father or mother or spouse’s face for example. Do they not all have a kind of tragic and tyrannical quality to them that love often only exacerbates? My guess is yes. I think we are all run ragged trying to survive the landscape of each other’s ever-changing features. Which is why when we’re in public it’s so important to keep our gaze averted.

Bent down to the earth” ~ Sallust

There’s just too much power in the human face.