The gentle rocking of the train jostled my rib cage, it jostled my neck and my lower back. It squeezed my calf and hamstring muscles. It loosened my knees. My back cracked, my neck cracked, my arms popped out of their sockets and back in again. My hands flopped over into the anatomical position, the scar tissue in my forearms and wrists shredding in an instant and then recoiled back, a chain reaction of cracks releasing down my digits. (You'll get arthritis doing that, I clearly remember my eighth grade English teacher telling me.) The handholds came down and grabbed my neck, the best chiropractor in the known universe yanking it to both sides, then up, then down each vertebra, releasing the tension on each one. The metal poles came in and slammed against my glutes, shoving the sciatic nerve into place and a wave shot down my legs causing every molecule to vibrate at the same perfect frequency.
They pulled apart my fingers and my toes, cracked every joint and released every muscle. Each rib was pulled as far from my spine as it would allow without being ripped out and turned into a woman and then snapped back in place, the cartilage stretched and the ligaments made new. The feeling of well-being, of alignment spread through my body, once again a complete system, no longer a crumpled mass of scar tissue and regret.
And then at the next stop the people got on again. In their suits and their makeup and their put-together personal lives, their places to go, their dates to be on and people to meet in social situations well-defined by the media. Shoes matching hats. Demeanor matching scent. Agenda matching indoctrination. And I was once again misaligned and calcified, bruised and broken, atoms vibrating in a grating dissonance.