I have a very honest and serious question: why do I want to jump in front of trains?
When I wait at the station and a train rushes in, I stand at the edge of the platform only a foot away from where the massive metal corners of the train are going to cut by. The two approaching headlights catch my gaze and I swoon away into a soft, relaxing hypnosis. It feels nice because I let go--something I usually have trouble with. Within that swoon there is another feeling. A spicy nip delivered by the awareness that it is dangerous to stand so close to the track. As I try to stay ahead of the realization why it is dangerous, my imagination has already taken off. I see myself jumping in front of the train.
I imagine everything in minute detail: how I would make a slight dip to get my momentum, how my slacks would ride up my ankles as I step into the lunge off the platform, my shirt--tucked neatly into my pants--would pull and pinch as my torso twists. I would have tense facial features--but only a little tense, propped onto a serene indifference. I imagine how my coat would flutter in the wind while my body flies into the train’s course. I would time my jump just right. I never had problems with that. In high school, in phys ed, I was good at estimating distances and jumping off in the right spot when we did floor exercises on insanely hot and boring summer afternoons in a dusty school gym. After that we would return to our classroom and when school was over we would wait for the next day--year by year until high school would be finally over. Now I’m here in New York, waiting for the next day--year by year until my life will be finally over. Nothing has changed.
I even imagine the thud when my body hits the train. How it would knock the air out of my lungs until they are flat. After that, the momentum of the train would keep pushing. Relentless, like the drag of this city--also forceful and angry. It would squeeze the blood out of my tissue. My skull would get squeezed, too, like a melon that is about to burst. My body’s inertia would probably make the windshield crack. Maybe some blood would enter into the glass cracks and make something faintly resembling a stained glass pattern. Aweinspiring beautiful--as my coworkers say on social media. I imagine the shocked screams on the platform and the panic. Put this on your feed and share it!
A place my imagination doesn’t go to, however, is to my body as it would get mangled when it falls under the train. Nice and messy. My imagination also doesn't go to the aftermath and everything and everyone who is involved in it. Cursing train conductor, station personnel, EMTs, policemen, maybe the coroner--the throng of people who make sure the public doesn’t come in contact with the ugly side of life. All you would experience is a train delay. It would be hidden as one of the many annoying and boring causes which make you turn to the commuter next to you trying to get your frustration confirmed.
But, as I said, for some reason, my imagination doesn’t go there. I’m still standing at the platform disconcerted at the thought that I’m having and at the odd play with the impulse to end my life. For now, I stay alive. I cover up the wish to die with a wish to go to work and back dealing with the nuisances of a human life--sometimes getting the best of people, sometimes letting them get the best of me, most of the times somewhere in between. There is less to worry about if you simply trudge on.