Their backs are bent by the weight of years and backpacks, hunched protectively over their phones and books like mallards dipped beneath the water, their white tails exposed and vulnerable in the sun as the hold their breath and scour the bottom.
Some gaze out the window, their eyes glazed while their minds bask on shimmering sands, falling asleep to the cadence of contentment, while their bodies ride the train to the same windowless cubicle in the corner.
Others sit crocheting to the tempo of the train, weaving a web in which to catch themselves, a tangle of color and cotton.
Everyone walks the same route to work from the train, powered by the anticipation for the day that their routine will change. They listen to the same song as yesterday, playing a dissonant duet with the sound of jackhammers and chainsaws, the sound of an improving city setting the soundtrack of a monotonous melody.