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There are three ways to attack the flame of conflict: fleeing from the heat, waiting for the fire to cool, or personally extinguishing it.

I got the nauseous twinge in my abdomen at the sound and sight of “W Farms Square East Tremont Ave (2) (5) Line”. Situated betwixt “E 180 St.” and “E 174 St.”, this train station was my point of departure for two directions, downtown toward the eloquent city of Manhattan or uptown toward the appalling charlatanic arms of my school. Each demoralizing school day began with my lifeless crawl on the stairway to this overhead train. Today was no different; I awaited the train’s arrival as the familiar pessimistic conversation with my mind had begun. Here in this inner chamber optimistic thoughts were infected, negative thoughts were rapidly spread, and my subconscious was immune to the outside world and its antigens.

The sun had a gloss on the track I thought; the track laid there in comfort preparing for another train to surge through its politeness, as if it had accepted its fate. It still had an assuring smile however, the smile that promised to keep withstanding the pain and disrespect until it truly lost the strength to hold itself up. Maybe I was born with steel in my genetics-not superman’s version of steel- but more the mutual form the track was created with, the steel that created us as inferiors and forced us to consistently persist with being ran over. The sun that glossed on me would be my oblivious parents, who steadfastly assumed that life at school should be an ecstatic experience. No longer was I surrounded with the embrace of popularity in my previous school life in the Bahamas; I was now being forced to exert a phony smile toward my oncoming “train”: change, culture shock, inappositeness, dissemblance, and unhappiness.

My apparent trance was disrupted by the bothersome dispatcher’s usual, “There is a train approaching, please stand away from the platform edge.” My previous captivating thoughts slowly vanished, reality crawled in, and I visualized the upcoming conflicts with my arch nemesis, school. The train’s floor didn’t retaliate with the usual uncomfortable and irritable feeling after my initial step; it rather felt honest, innocent, and guiltless to a point as if it wasn’t transporting me toward mental and emotional devastation. Before I could analyze the origin of this indifferent feeling, my consciousness was pierced with the conclusion of terminally ill words, “…Downtown Manhattan bound (2) train, the next stop is…E 174 St.” A weakness intertwined with anger and sadness immersed throughout my body; my subconscious took over and it allowed the acceptance of my obvious destiny: failure, to my new life, my parents, my future, my often proclaimed perseverance, but most of all, myself.

Suddenly, as my mind projected time around me to seemingly procrastinate, as if it wanted me to permanently soak this moment in, the ugliest creature decided to present itself. The apparently humble yet most malicious familiar droplet from the disgusting well had streamed down the left side of my maxilla. I had hoped that this reservoir had been dried up from its consistent use, but it never ceased to appear at the most climactic times. Due to exhaustion, I relinquished my strength from covering it; the family of tears had purged to existence for an unwelcomed vacation. With my head held down, I examined the inaugural three tears on the moving train’s floor. The first drained swiftly in the direction of the moving train, separating itself distinctly from the other two. While still keeping its volume during landing, the second was stomped by a passenger unknowingly. As the train stopped, the third tear decided to re-route; it slowly traveled in the opposite direction of the train’s movement, interrupting my current trance and illuminating a path I now had to follow.




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