There Are People I Avoid On The Train

There are people I avoid on the train. I always see them before they see me. I turn the other way. I pull my cap down over my face. I hurry along and hold my breath dreading my name being called out or a hand on my shoulder. Pulling me back to a place I don’t want to recall, to a place I have battled to escape and have no intention of returning to.

There are people I avoid on the train. Note I say people as opposed to person. Plural as opposed to singular. For when you add them up there are quite a few. In fact they seem to be everywhere. My daily commute is a minefield of potentially awkward and embarrassing encounters that I have no desire to resurrect. So I skulk and scurry. I dodge and duke. Catch me if you can cos I’m too quick and I’m too clever for you all. Aren’t I?

There are people I avoid on the train. I sometimes wonder what they would say to me if we spoke. Would it be inane small talk about the kids or the weather? Or would they cut to the chase and go straight for the jugular. Why? How? Where? When? Would there be polite chit chat or raised voices and recriminations? Would they offer a hand of reconciliation? Would it be a hot tongue or a cold shoulder? Good job I’m the Scarlet Pimpernel of public transport, right?

There are people I avoid on the train. But I can’t avoid them in my dreams. They visit them occasionally where I am forced to face the inevitable. You can’t run away in your dreams. Well you can and I’ve tried but you never seem to get very far. They always seem to catch up or be waiting for you just around the corner. Like Freddy Krueger. And their accusations cut just as deep as old Freddy’s claws. Last night they accused me of jealousy. But on another night it could be something else. Either way I can never get back to sleep. Wide awake. Thinking.

There are people I avoid on the train. I’m getting rather good at it. And then it hits me. Are they avoiding me? Are they seeing me a split second before I see them? Are they the one taking evasive action and diving for cover? I always thought they would want to talk, to engage, to build bridges and tear down barriers. Because it’s all about me and the hurt they have caused me. It’s all their fault and I’m the victim. I’ve done nothing wrong and I should be standing tall and proud beyond reproach. And yet I skulk through the carriages like a thief in the night.

There are people I avoid on the train. Or am I avoiding myself? Am I avoiding the inevitable? Is this a cowardly act or a necessary one of self preservation? I mean no offence with this self defence. I need to hide away in my fortress and pull up the drawbridge. It’s either that or be utterly exposed to the searing truth. The truth that burns away all the excuses and lies, that reveals me for who I really am. A broken man picking up the pieces the best way that he can. Broken yet functioning. Clinging on thanks to the grace of a God I don’t deserve.

There are people I avoid on the train. I’ll keep avoiding them. It’s best that way, But I can’t avoid God no matter how hard I try. He can be annoyingly persistent. He even bugs atheists and agnostics. He will nag and niggle with that small, still voice of his. A message here and a sign there. Chipping away at my scorched, scarred heart to reveal fresh, living tissue beneath. A new heart for a new man. Pumping with passion and purpose. Soaked in the blood of another. Beating to the rhythm of heavenly drums.

There are people I avoid on the train. But I can’t avoid myself. Every day I have to look in the mirror. I don’t like what I see but I see it anyway. For seeing is believing. And I believe again. I believe I’ve been given this twenty second chance for a reason. For this is my season and I’m grabbing it with both hands this time. This is my destiny, this is what I was called to do. One day there will be no more train and no more need to hide. For my story will be told bright and bold. You can’t avoid the void forever. One day you have to stop running and stare deep into the darkness.

For that is where you will find the light.

Are there people you avoid?

What are you running from?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

62 thoughts on “There Are People I Avoid On The Train

  1. I used to run away but not anymore. I’ve stopped running since I have accepted who I am. I decided to face my demons and reality because if you don’t they follow you everywhere and are omnipresent. Once you faced your problems and toxic people they stop following you. I have just posted an article on toxic people and how I dealt with them.
    All the best

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love your writing style. You always serm to hit some hot buttons in my life at some point. One silly observation – only 20 seconds in front of the mirror? Man, you’re fast! Lol.


  3. A very honest and open post. You wrote this so well. I felt I was there with you on the train. After reading, the disciple Peter came into my mind. I would bet he wouldn’t have wanted to see the other disciples after he betrayed Jesus. Yet there he was with James and John and the rest on Sunday morning.

    There he was at the tomb with John, and we are told Jesus appeared to Peter alone, before the other disciples. We are not told what Jesus and Peter talked about, but I’m sure Jesus said he forgave Peter and they probably hugged.

    I used to worry I would see my old church acquaintances at Walmart. Lol I did twice in the last 10 years. One looked at me, looked away and walked on. One was friendly and we had a nice chat.

    I didn’t want to see any of them because I had stΓ rted drinking and smoking, a huge no-no in my church. I knew people were talking about me and my husband. We had been active in the church for many years. Then my husband got sick, and some people told him, while in the hospital after an operation, that it was his own fault he got cancer because of his diet, and he would not be saved. Even our pastor said that to me, in not a nice way.

    My husband left our church, but not God. He would never leave God. I quit going awhile later. I had a mental breakdown, (not about that) and got mad at God. I guess this is too long, sorry. So yeah, there are people I don’t want to see, but it is mainly because I have gained weight. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Totally get this. Threw me back to many years of commuting on the Long Island RR. In my 20s, if I wasn’t at a desk or on the trading floor downtown, I was schlepping into town for some audition. One weeknight evening, after a particularly draining day, I managed to fall asleep on the very large man to my right. He was kind enough to let me sleep until his stop – when he lifted my head from his shoulder and said, “Don’t worry. The drool will dry.” I don’t avoid anything in the train anymore except falling asleep.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love your post…as always πŸ™‚ This is making me think…I always thought that I was running, running to get to a better space, to get to some “perfect” life, to get to some point that my life could begin. But perhaps I am running from something…time to spend some time in front of the mirror…more than 20 seconds! πŸ˜‰


  6. Passionate and profound.! I am sure I will find myself coming back to this post. After leaving a very public job in my small town, I find myself avoiding any place I might be recognized, which is everywhere. Your prose had me smiling as I read it aloud and felt your experiences were my own. ❀️


  7. WOW. You are a brilliant writer. This hit me hard, I love the profound way you dig deep with your ideas. We can never hide from God. Thank you for this. ❀


  8. Shame is a hell of a thing. Fortunately, we humans are resilient creatures with the capacity to learn from the errors of our ways. We hold the capacity for remorse. For empathy. And best of all, we possess the ability to reinvent ourselves again and again.


      1. We are always changing. Ever-evolving creatures. Being comfortable with that is my goal. Life is short and we can make it harder on ourselves than it needs to be by over-thinking and by over-doing. Be kind to yourself πŸ™‚


          1. But you don’t need any of this. Everything you need is right where you sit. Simplify and you will experience a more integrated sense of self. I promise.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. I am a bit too aggressive of a personality to really avoid those people, but am no stranger to the voice telling you to run from them.
    Thank you for your powerful post.
    (If you allow, I would love to share a post I wrote about someone I really wanted to avoid. God taught me a real lesson through him.)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, my goodness! I just schedule my post to publish in an hour, and you’re never gonna believe this…i’m posting about a train and dark tunnels… different message altogether… our posts have different themes, but how wild is it that our subject material had a similar starting point? Your post is amazing… such a lyrical quality to it… rhythmic like a train! And the introspective quality of the speaker reminds me a little if Robert Browning or EA Poe. Brilliant! Bravo!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The mindless chit chat/small talk/preserving niceties is what I also TRY to avoid. The worst though is the whole “how are you” scenario where they ask and walk right by before hearing an answer. So why ask?


  12. Wow. Yes, there are people I avoid and sometimes I avoid the by my conversation. I refuse to talk about certain subjects around them or to them. I don’t know if they are so opinionated or am I to nice not to challenge their intentions or opinions. Or it could be that we believe differently. Who knows but yes, I do avoid some people.


  13. I avoid virtually all people these days. There a very few that i interact with. I feel i am better off because that way i am not letting people down. If i keep myself to myself then i am in control of all situations. I am running from many many things at the moment. Do i want to stop??? Who knows?


  14. That’s a very epic post!
    Do I avoid some people?
    I can occasionally avoid someone unpleasant that I don’t wish to talk to… but I guess it’s reciprocal πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ€—

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is! This particular post, specifically! There’s a solemnity about it and in the repetition of certain words at the beginning of the paragraphs…


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