It’s always fun to walk down Mexico City at night. The distant sounds of the street’s music boxes coupled with the visible smoke of the tamale carts and the streetlights make you want to stay forever, and there’s no hot sun to burn your face. I had gone out to celebrate my semester’s end with a couple friends and as luck would have it, it was a payday. We all got together in front of the Palace of Fine Arts at 6 as all teenagers in the city do and went ahead into the urban jungle. We stuffed on street food, ice cream and ended the night by visiting a small bar we always went to. I came out with my head buzzing and my body wobbling, I was so drunk I almost forgot about the time, I needed to go before midnight, or I’d miss my way to home.
I live just outside the city’s urban limits, so I always had to take the subway whenever I went downtown. It’s a mixed experience. There are times when it’s almost empty and the train goes fast, but most of the time the wagons are filled to the brim with people; you’ll be lucky if you find an open seat. I entered the underground station, purchased a ticket and headed even deeper underground. The station was mostly empty except for the guards, drunkards and the teenagers who came back from their jobs. I went into the waiting platform and looked into the tunnel from where the wagons would emerge, and thankfully two red lights were growing bigger in the darkness.
The train began to stop in front of the platform, the iconic whirling sound and the breeze the vehicle carried hit me in the face, it helped me sober up a bit. To my fortune, the train was nearly empty as it always is when midnight is close. The doors opened and I took a seat in the wagon at the back, no drunks or annoying salesmen would go that far back at night, so it had the best seats. As the subway cars began to move my dizziness kicked in and I thought I could shut my eyes for a couple seconds.
“Next stop: Hidalgo. Connected with line 3, headed to station Green Indians and headed to station University. For your own safety, you must leave the train upon reaching the final station. This vehicle will no longer offer service.”
As I tucked my sweater behind my head like a pillow and reclined, the intercom began broadcasting closing time warnings.
“Next stop: Revolution. For your own safety, you must leave the train upon reaching the final station. This vehicle will no longer offer service.”
I just dismissed it; my head was feeling heavy.
“Next stop: San Cosme. For your own safety, you must leave the train upon reaching the final station. This vehicle will no longer offer service.”
My eyes began to blur, what small softness the sweater provided me was enough to doze off.
“Next stop: Normal. For your own safety, you must leave the train upon reaching the final station. This vehicle will no longer offer service.”
I opened my eyes, and the train was still moving, I suspected I had woken up just as I needed to get off. I got up, got my sweater, and headed towards the doors, I held onto the handbar and waited for the train to stop. It didn’t. I don’t know how much I stood there waiting for the train to arrive at the station, but it never arrived. The train kept on moving and the tunnel lights just kept passing by. White, blue, white, blue, white, blue. Was I dreaming? I pinched myself to wake up, but nothing happened. I started to feel ill, more than I already was. My stomach began to compress itself, as if something was strangling it. As more lights went by, this feeling of ugliness got stronger. White, blue, white, blue, white, blue, nothing. After a few seconds, nothing. The train was now moving through the darkness.
I took out my cellphone to call someone, no signal. I tried texting my mother, no dial tone. I tried turning on my cellphone’s wi-fi to connect to the station’s signal, no local signals detected. I turned on my cellphone data to connect to the internet, no signal detected. I started to get agitated, and I could feel my stomach getting tighter and tighter, bile was starting to build up from the uneasiness. I sat down; multiple thoughts came to my mind: What the hell am I going to do now? Should I pull the emergency lever? Should I stay until someone from maintenance finds me? Should I go talk to the driver? The driver. I got up and headed down the wagons to the one at the front. As I walked, I was startled when the intercom speaker blasted:
“Next stop: Four roads.”
Four roads. So, I didn’t miss it, great. I left out a sigh of relief. My stomach began to ease when I saw the lights of the station. The train began to stop, and I headed to the nearest doors, I stood there waiting for them to open. The wagon stopped for a while, it gave a warning beep that the doors would be closed, and it began moving again. What the hell? The subway train was plunged back into darkness and my belly was plunged back into distress. Something was wrong and I didn’t want to end in the wagon maintenance area where the trains go after the stations close. As I got ahold of myself, the intercom speaker blurted again:
“Next stop: Graveyards.”
Graveyards? No, that’s not possible. Graveyards goes after Four Roads. The subway cars are going on reverse, now I had to go talk to the driver. I kept on walking towards the driver’s wagon when it began to stop again, the lights of Graveyards station made themselves known. Maybe he forgot to open the doors last time? Maybe? The vehicle stood there, as if the doors were to open. The warning beep sounded again, and the vehicle began to move again. My stomach began to press again and this time the bile went beyond the esophagus. I threw up in the middle of the wagon as it moved again. I kneeled down on the floor and tried to calm myself down, my head was starting to ache, and my vision began to blur again. I stayed there trying to pull myself together.
“Next stop: Tacuba. Connected with line 6, headed to station The Rosary and headed to station Dead Man’s Gulch.”
The names of the station weren’t helping at all. And that’s not the creepy part, those are the actual name of the stations. Seems Mexico has quite the hard-on for death, no? After I got myself settled, I went on my way to the front of the train.
“Next stop: Cuitlahuac.”
I kept on walking, how long was this damn train? The doors didn’t open again.
“Next stop: Popotla.”
I kept moving forward, but this train seemed to be infinite. I must’ve already reached the driver by now. Doors never opened.
“Next stop: Military school.”
My gut was hurting really bad, I began to stumble through the wagons, desperation began to get into my head. Doors still shut. I just realized, ever since I woke up, there have been no people on the stations.
“Next stop: Normal.”
This train had no end. And I was alone.
“Next stop: San Cosme.”
I was stuck here. Alone.
“Next stop: Revolution.”
I’m going to die here.
““Next stop: Hidalgo. Connected with line 3, headed to station Green Indians and headed to station University.”
But what if…?
“Next stop: Fine Arts. Connected with line 8, headed to station Garibaldi and headed to station 1917 Constitution.”
What if I reach the final station?
“Next stop: Allende.”
What if there’s no end?
“Next stop: Zócalo.”
Credit : GirlInTheMirror
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