Closed Eyes

I see them all the time. They don't seem to fit in with the rest of the crowd. It's probably because they don't. There are different ones all the time everyday I go to work waiting in the subway station. They keep repeating "we mean you no harm"and "we just want a word with you" all the while asking questions but nobody listens. The people walk past them without noticing, despite this however, they walk away appearing satisfied.

What their purpose is I do not know. All I know is that they wear strange clothes and use unusual devices. They also look just like us. They wear baseball caps or toques, sometimes dress shirts are worn, other times T-shirts, though they proclaim unknown logos, I don't know what to call it but it looks like a hooded robe without the bottom half which honestly frightens me a little, They wear anything from slacks to strangely textured blue pants and most of them wear what looks like sports footwear. I know nobody else who wears stuff like this.

I don't know what the devices are for. One of them might be used for tracking but a person would literally have to be beside it for it to do anything making it utterly useless. But the other stuff I have no idea. Well, whatever they are, they seem to be in working order, or at least that's what I see.

One of my friends said she saw something that was physically impossible. One of them was sitting on the bench when he had appeared to have dropped right through it. "It was as if he wasn't even there" she exclaimed. I didn't believe her and thought there was a more mundane explanation behind it. I told her that she may have been imagining things, that her eyes were seeing an illusion, that her mind may have been playing tricks on her.. She was steadfast but for a moment I saw doubt in her eyes. I asked if she saw it clearly and she replied no but that she saw his head fall but couldn't see his body with people milling about, blocking her sight. I left it at that. We had a conversation until the train came. I soon became very curious of them.

I was nervous at first, I wanted to try and touch one of them; just tap them on the shoulder or something, no harm done. But by the time the train came, I still hadn't made up my mind. The next time I tried it, they had left early, they had already gone by the time I got to the station. It took a couple of more tries before the timing was right. I snuck up to one of them and went to lay my hand on him. It touched but he shook it off almost immediately. He said to his friend in an excited manner "Sean, I felt a hand touch my shoulder" and Sean immediately replied "really?". He said "yeah, just now". They then started asking questions. They wanted me to answer their questions by waving my hand in front of the machine I had mentioned earlier. I thought that these people were incredibly strange but nonetheless did what they asked of me.

They started with "Are you a woman? You can light this machine up once for yes, two for no. I lighted it up. Are you between 20 and 30 years of age? They asked inquisitively but I didn't bother to move. Perhaps 30 and 40? Once again I lighted it. They then asked about general facts and after a while I seemed to tune them out. My attention snapped back to them as they posed the last question. Are you Lorene Smith? I just looked at them confused because I didn't know what to think. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, I moved once for yes. They eventually left me to my own devices. I was left trying to figure out what had just happened and I felt myself being pulled into the train by an unknown force as it pulled into the subway.

The next day only got stranger. I got a little more brave when I walked up to one of them, a woman this time, and patted her on the head and laughed as I watched her react. She repeatedly yelled Oh My God! until she started laughing hysterically and her friend asked her what was wrong. She started laughing for real as she said that someone had touched her hair but there was no one around to do it. I immediately stopped laughing when I heard that. I told her that there were people all around her. I got frustrated when she didn't hear me so I started yelling at her and I just got closer until I could reach her ear... and she jumped; leapt away from me. She had appeared to just jumped through another person. My mind went blank at that moment. I could've thought that my eyes were playing tricks on me or that they didn't actually exist or that I had confirmed my friend's story...nothing came. The train came once again and I truly wanted to stay but I found myself getting on anyway.

I had a need to know just what they were. The next day a threesome came and I went around asking about these people. One man just looked at me with disdain and confusion and asked back What the hell are you talking about? Persistence only made him angrier so I went to someone else. This person was absolutely clueless as she kept going Who? Where? Huh? and I eventually said never mind and walked off. I asked others but kept getting the same response. I begin thinking that going to the train when it comes is not a conscious decision because in the middle of a question, I start moving away from the person, I turn around and there it is.

The next day with frustrations boiling over I walked toward the nearest one of them and without thinking, slapped him, or I would have had my hand not gone through his face. I was left stunned and shaken and I was thinking that perhaps me and my friend weren't seeing things after all. I immediately thought ghosts but they didn't act like any I had ever seen. But I didn't know anything else that had such a property. The man exclaimed to his friend that his face felt incredibly cold just then. His friend jokingly replied that perhaps he just got slapped. The train came and I let myself go inside.

Tomorrow transformed into today and I tried to go down into the subway but became too uncomfortable down there. It was just this feeling I got going down; like I lose something every time I do. I don't know what it is though. I stared blankly at the entrance as I dove to figure out what it was I was missing. I went deeper and deeper 'til I could go no farther and I sat down exhausted from the effort.

It's only now that I noticed my surroundings. It was all pulses of gold and blue for as far as the eye could see. The wind felt absolutely refreshing against my person as wave after wave pounded on me. Just the simplicity of it all was breathtaking but there was nobody else around to enjoy this and I felt slightly guilty. As soon as I realized this though, everything just kinda faded away. All that was left was this empty white except for the subway entrance. I took a deep breath and walked in.

I was told that I had missed my train and strangely, I immediately felt better. Perhaps it was that I didn't have to deal with whatever was pulling me toward the train. I felt almost a release; like I had been holding my breath for too long. I cherished the feeling with closed eyes, not wanting to let it go. I don't notice the transformation of the subway. Becoming a dilapidated, dark, dank, dirty shithole from a bustling, clean, well-lit train stop. I opened them, and one could only imagine the shock I got when I did. I didn't expect those strange people to be there much less look as stunned as I did. The "subway" didn't look like it had been used for many years and all I thought was What happened?

I looked toward the only light source which was coming from the top of the stairs and I started walking toward it. Out of nowhere I became aware of what I was and that I was living in a world of my own making; of a very familiar place. I closed my eyes for the last time...

I see them all the time. They don't seem to fit in with the rest of the crowd. It's probably because they don't.