By Emma Cosgrove
Commuting is not for the faint of heart. It takes guts. All you students basking in the luxury of walking two blocks to your shabby apartments are smugly missing out on one of the most harrowing experiences known to studentkind. We encounter a breed of savages existing outside the confines of your television.
It begins with boarding the GO Train each day. The car is filled to the brim with suits, tights and stiff-looking leather shoes. Inside all of these things are undead folks. I know their eyes are circled with dark purple and blue but I daren’t look. Commuter zombies are sensitive — any form of visceral contact can send them on a flesh-demolishing rampage. My cautious eyes land on an empty seat flanked by three sombre fellows. I inconspicuously sit down in their huddle. Directly across from me is a 46-year-old male zombie with a silky grey noose around his neck. Blood spews from open wounds on his pallid skin, oozing onto the fabric of his crisp mauve Italian-made dress shirt that he bought on a whim after a painful sales presentation. I become hyper-aware that our knees are nearly touching.
We are on the third floor of the train, otherwise known as the “Quiet Zone,” or the “Violent Death-to-All-Sound Area.” Zombies thrive in an environment free from auditory stimulation. In these dire situations, headphones are my only defence. I keep them on the lowest volume, allowing no sound to escape. Should a guitar riff sneak out by sheer accident, it is met by furrowed brows, aggressive sighs and heightened hostility. Any major disturbance to the suspended air of this train car and all zombie eyes will lock with mine. I will be vaporized.
The beady eyes of each zombie around me are glued to sleek devices covered with buttons. Intense focus is given to the liquid crystal in the palms of their cold, stiff hands. They feed off the power of the blinding LCD screen — more surface area equates to a more powerful zombie.
Every so often, the zombies silently raise paper goblets to their mouths. They guzzle a dark, murky liquid. This is their lifeblood. They continue to sip as the train grinds to a final halt. A silent mass of bobbing bodies spills onto the platform and descends into the dark, damp, plywood-coated underworld that is the Union Station Revitalization Project, eventually scattering to all corners of the city via a network of underground pedestrian tunnels (avoid these areas at night — some work late).
On the train ride home, the lethargic zombies doze. They’re sleepy after their day of strenuous bone munching. This is when the undead are most vulnerable.
I turn my music up and look directly at their closed eyes. Heads slowly droop and are yanked back up periodically. Drool spills out of mouths. Knees touch. Skulls land on strangers’ shoulders without consequence. Order is restored. Sleep tight, sweet zombies.