The stuck subway air smelled of hot metal and worn concrete. Metal fans shifted dead air across sunken tracks. The air was limp and lifeless as a well-traveled doll. Crowds crowded and emptied from the containers like the ebb and flow of an awkward tide. I waited. I let my train come and go. Each arriving car sucked the platform clean. Left alone; the sole survivor each time. Company trickled cautiously down from the escalators and swelled nearly to capacity before being emptied again. I thought of moments in the history of Earth when its surface had been wiped clean by plague, famine, eruption, disaster, or collapse. Each time the populations of life regrowing and rebuilding— slowly and cautiously—until the next peak when the slate was purged once again.
Anyway, I’ll follow that image of a train station with this one: