Post-Apocalyptic Subway Disco

Last night I was riding a nearly empty 3 train uptown back to Harlem, and listening to Sally Shapiro's "I'll Be by Your Side" on my headphones. As the train goes through the tunnel underneath Central Park passing from 96th Street to Central Park North, it slows down a bit and heads into a stretch with lots of lights in the tunnel in close proximity to the train, because the tunnel is so narrow. Sitting at the end of the car (coincidentally at the end of the train), I saw a peculiar phenomenon. As the lights from the tunnel passed down the train through the windows, their glare reflected in the chrome hand-hold bars in the center of the car. The motion of the reflection spun the lights around the round poles, and combined with the stuttering produced by the windows, bathed the empty car in a strobe-light disco ball effect.

At that point, the ethereal warmness of Sally Shapiro's synths instilled in me a vision of some sort of cyborg vigilante riding on top of an abandoned train across a post-apocalyptic city-scape plain in some alternative future, his existential tears running into sparks as they flow down his face in the poisoned wind. Think Mad Max/Blade Runner/Robocop, but a club remix rather than Vangelis' original Blade Runner soundtrack. I had to listen to the song three times in a row.

Yeah, I like the subway. People talk shit about how everyone in the city has headphones on, but sometimes the mundane can be quite beautiful if it is enhanced with the right soundtrack. And how else would I be inspired with ideas for depressimistic sci-fi short stories? Go ahead, you tell me how. That's what I thought. Cyborgs will always be by my side.

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