Photo by Daniel Cheong


The wheels of the giant train squealed, bringing him out of his wondering thoughts.  With giddy glee he looked up at the map and saw that the next station was the one they were getting off at.  The pressure he exerted on his mothers hand tightened.  She turned to look down, wondering if anything was wrong, but at seeing the joy on his face she just smiled gently and said nothing.

They were almost there.

The train soon enough began to slow and the station came into view.  Everything suddenly seemed to be a blur of sounds and lights  The packed subway car, filled with more people than he had ever seen in one place seemingly rose together as if on command and began shuffling towards the door.  His mother squeezed his hand and then stood, guiding him towards the opening door and out into the new world beyond.

They followed the massive rush of people down a long tunnel towards the turnstile exit, stopping only to watch the train head off towards its next destination.  It was loud, almost too loud, but he didn’t care.  It was just so cool to watch this snakelike thing driving away into the tunnel beyond and then to see the hole it exited into darkening as the red lights of the rear of the train disappearing into the distance.  He wanted to look longer but his mother guided him to the station exit and what lay beyond.  He suddenly remembered again why they were here and all thoughts of the train popped out of his head.

There was an escalator, but he asked if they could take the stairs so he could count them.  He lost count at fifty.  There were a lot of them, and he was almost out of breath when they reached the top.  Down one last corridor they walked, coming to a set of doors than shone brightly with the sunlit sky beyond.  He pushed hard on the door so that he could hold it open for his mother and a couple others who had braved the stairs behind them, as his father told him he should always do. An older lady, about his grandma’s age patted him on the head and called him a proper young gentleman.  He smiled up at her and thanked her.

Soon enough they were standing on the sidewalk beyond the door, his mother and him.  There were all kinds of people around but he didn’t notice a single one of them otherwise.  His breath caught and his eyes opened wide in astonishment at the sight around them.  Most particularly above them.  He stared upwards to the tops of giant buildings that seemingly were hanging out in the clouds a million miles away. They made him feel so small. 

‘No, not small’, his stubborn little mind reminded him.  ‘You’re big and getting bigger all the time.  Grandma says so.  One day you’re going to be on top of those buildings, hanging out in the sky with those clouds.’  The thought made him smile and he stretched his arms upwards, tracing the tops of the buildings with his fingers as if that would bring them to him.

His mothers touch brought him out of his thoughts.  She gently took his hand and steered them down the street to all new adventure. 

“Best day ever”, he announced to everyone who could hear.  Today, he was on top of the world.

Music Playing While Writing This: Ultravox – Brilliant
Podcast of the day: The Moth