Come on, come on. That frantic thought is sculpted into the crowd’s poses and expressions. Some are sitting, but most pace awkwardly.
Far off, they hear the train rumbling. Visible relief flashes from face to face.
It’s an awkward two-minute ride. No eye contact, rocking back and forth, biting fingernails. Come on!
The doors open and people lurch forth, loping crab-like with thighs clenched, men out the right side, women out the left. A moment later, a hundred stall doors slam. A long, protracted sigh.
“They should put these in houses,” someone says.
“Gross! What is this, the Dark Ages?”
*hwajangshil (화장실) is the Korean word for bathroom. This story does not take place in Korea. You can only imagine the sort of world where it does take place.