the next station is: Bank

By Chancery Lane, the crowds have dispersed, spilling station by station into the rat-race of Central London. As the doors slide shut at St. Paul’s, there are even some seats available. The train wheezes and coughs along the underbelly of the city, masking the deathly silence inside the carriage. Headphones in and heads very firmly down, Londoners shut out the reality of overheating and overcrowding to dream the commute away one stop at a time. As the doors roll open and heels meet the greying platform, a chaotic clicking drumbeat cascades along the tunnel. When it reaches the escalators, it falls still again and the warm whirr of machinery takes over, audible above the complete silence of three hundred people. They feed into the ticket hall, the barriers beeping greedily, crashing open and shut like rows of unbrushed teeth. Up the stairs, the world explodes into life once again as buses roar by. The day has begun.