Book: The First - Part: One - Chapter: 3 - Installment: i

The inevitable pungence of the evening commute permeated his nostrils. “Packed like lemmings into shiny-metal boxes…” he thought. The author was referring to cars he had no doubt, from the further context of “Daddy grips the wheel and stares alone into the distance,” but it struck him that perhaps the image of the London Underground was more apropos.
It had been many many years since he’d last rode ‘the Tube.’ Perhaps he should consider a trip back to ‘the old-country.’
“The Old Country.” Is that appropriate?
The phrase was one reserved for use by decrepit citizens of the continent – ones who had left not only their home, but their language behind. But as much as modern convenience made it a cinch to travel around the world – there was not an inch of the planet that a person with enough money could not be inside of 48 hours – he couldn’t really bear the thought of the hassles involved to get back ‘home.’ London wasn’t even ‘home’ in that sense, though he’d lived there for quite a time. The ‘old country’ itself didn’t even exist anymore.
The SkyTrain wasn’t ‘shiny.’ He wasn’t even sure whether it was metal or not. Fiberglass or polymer of some description, possibly, but he was certainly packed in with his fellow lemmings, making their way in the late November dusk Eastward out of downtown, burbwards. He knew TransLink was constantly studying whether or not there was sufficient capacity on each route for the amount of traffic experienced at any given time of day. He couldn’t see how any calculation the transit gods could fashion could possibly equate to the belief that this was acceptable. Shoulder to shoulder, personal space collapsed to the combined thickness of the clothing worn. The closeness was possible, even bearable, but the equation fell apart when one considered the difficulty of negotiating one’s path off of the train.
“Excuse me” became a meaningless phrase when floated as a request towards someone who could not themselves budge to clear the path. Add to this the perpetual frustration of imbeciles who couldn’t fathom that in order for them to get on the train they needed to clear room at the doorways for riders to get off the trains.
As much as Canada was known for its near ingratiating politeness, the social wisdom necessary to act upon the niceties of etiquette was in ever-less evidence. Perhaps it was time to move on to a new home. Vancouver had served its purpose. But the immortal question; ‘where?’
The wide-open spaces that he knew as a child were disappearing unless one wanted to live in a veritable or literal desert. But he couldn’t. He needed people. He just didn’t want them quite as close as this.

Installment ii

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Necropolis by Kennedy Goodkey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at necropolisnovels.blogspot.com.