There is an Ayn Rand in every train.
|What is this? This is the result of reflection on an xkcd comic (to see comic, go here: http://xkcd.com/610/). Absorb, do not think. The thinking has already been done. You can think after you've read it.
He stares out the scratched window to his right
Into the darkness rushing by,
An obscurity only failing
When lights illume the subterranean sky.
The discordant screeching of the tires
And the rushing wind outside
Hardly mask the deafening silence
Of the several souls on the ride:
An ancient gentleman aside his wife,
Each absorbed in their literature;
Across stands a suit, not a hair out of place;
In the rear sits a junk connoisseur.
All were too engrossed in their menial tasks
To notice the fifth’s searching eyes,
As from one to the next he studied each face
As though he could tell truth from their lies.
He remarked for some time the elderly two,
Wrinkles set deep in each face:
For years they had lived, but to what avail?
Was there a point to their race?
His expression turned pensive as he studied the man
Whose attire was fit for a wedding:
Was there a reason he labored thus?
Had he a clue where he was going?
He dared not even glance toward the back,
That one’s appearance all he need give:
He had no doubt slept the streets for some time,
So for what did he hope for and live?
And now as he stared through the three feet of black,
Though far deeper into his own thoughts,
He considered the lives of those in the train
As though he held in his hand their lots.
How sad it must be to go through one’s life
Mechanically as they must do;
Living one day only to greet the next:
‘Tis dismal, depressing, but true.
They’re confined to travel until their deaths
On the same track day in and out:
A cycle repeating, no direction or dream,
A lonely, irrelevant route.
What would their existence aspire to?
Why are they here on this earth?
Are they just passing on through without care,
Unknown to them life’s joy and mirth?
I am the only one on this train
Who has a real purpose or drive;
I have a dream, an aim and intent:
I’m the only one truly alive.
Sure, they are here, riding this train,
Only to get off at some distant stop;
But will anything they do after they step out
Amount to much more than naught?
Trillions of lives have come and gone,
Their bodies now dust underground;
Only a handful has outlived their fleeting lives,
The rest to oblivion bound.
So why should these four be any different,
Why would they not be of the crowd?
Taking each breath only to breathe it out,
Each deeper in obscurity enshroud.
Yet the world is choked with people as such,
Whose only import is of their own;
And when they pass on, their only lasting mark
Will be inscribed on their gravestone.
I, at least, strive for more in life,
Have ambition, aspirations, resolve;
I will not be listless in life like these here,
But to a greater viability evolve.
And with that last muse in his train of thought,
He concluded his time playing God,
For he had by then convinced himself
That was the path he had trod.
The rumbling train slowed to a halt
As it reached the upcoming station,
But not this time, nor ever, would it stop long:
There was no final destination.
He watched as then in stepped a man,
Much the same age as he,
And studied his face as the man found a seat
On which he reclined passively.
He politely smiled as the stranger looked up,
The man with no purpose, nor name;
And the second returned it, nodding his head
His train of thought the very same.