As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Metropolitan line resembles a commuter route in the types of its destinations and the design of the carriages. Its an express from Finchely Road (zone 2) to Baker Street (zone 1, major hub)  and its the longest continuous journey between two stops that I’ve experienced. Its the longest amount of time I am in a carriage with the same people.

Its expected that its pretty quiet inside an underground train. Yet something about the metro line dramatizes this silence until it becomes so materialized that it makes me feel tense. I am tensely aware of everyone around me and the rickety sounds of the train rattling on the tracks makes us even more afraid to say anything.

Although silence on the tube might seem natural strangers seem uninterested in eachother, that’s not true. I think Londoners are repressed. I know they are repressed, judging from the “love struck” section of the London Paper. The instructions for submitting a request allow you to text in love sightings from anywhere in London. That means if I see a guy at a bar in Soho and I can’t get the nerve to talk to him, I can try to anonymously reach out to him via the london paper.

But these messages are always from sightings on the tube.

“Hey foxy lady on the Victoria line 9:27 pm on Friday. You were wearing a green dress and I winked at you. Did you notice? Fancy a drink?”

The silence is really everyone’s checking each other out. But no one says anything! and the silence on the tube is really a silence of awkwardness rather than disinterestedness.

I try to look around and wonder who these anonymous love-struck tube riders are. I try to notice people looking at each other but everyone seems so perfectly bored or absorbed in themselves that I wonder if the love-struck section represents such a minute proportion of the tube riders that its a coincidence. I imagine there should be many love-struck individuals who don’t text in their sentiments. (I mean, some texts even include a marriage proposal!) They only publish 10 a day, which of course represents a tiny tiny fraction of tube riders. But that makes it all the more like a romance. Mystery.

I wonder if anyone has responded to a message. I wonder how far this has gone, I wonder. Meanwhile, I’ll keep investegating with my eyes.

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