I am not sure where it started, but perhaps it was in the 1990s. The cause of which, I cannot place my finger upon. You see, sometimes I am afraid of being on the SkyTrain platform. This occurs more often if the platform is crowded, or I deem the platform to be too narrow.
Fear is unreasonable like that; it takes the ordinary and transforms it, so one dreads the worst.
I fear falling on the tracks. I am sure this started in Toronto on the subway. Some of Toronto’s subway platforms are, I think, too narrow. I am thinking about Union Station, Bay St Station, Bloor St Station, and just to name a few; most of these platforms are older platforms. When I waited at Union, or at the Bay St stations, they used to get crowded, people would nudge you, or bump into you when the passed. This freaked me out. I began to stand in the against the wall, or if it had a center platform, then I would stand in the middle of the platform.
There are SkyTrain stations that give me difficulty (again, these are usually the older stations), Columbia Station is one example, but it is not the only one. The thing about SkyTrain stations is that, for me, there are two issues that I have trouble with, namely, that some stations have narrow platforms, and some are too high above the ground (I am also afraid of heights).
To top it off, I have balance issues. I have the issue where I favour one side of the sidewalk more than the other as my friends will attest. This is so bad that I have often switch sides on the sidewalk because I kept turning into their pathway. Then, there is the issue of my falling (I haven’t done so lately, but it is still an issue). I am very conscious of all these as I traverse the platform. So, whether its a Subway, or a SkyTrain platform I have the fear of falling onto the tracks. A part of me realizes that this is highly unlikely, but another part realizes this is a valid reality given my balance issues. Again, I always have these issues on the back of my mind, while I am walking.
What am I to do? I don’t drive, so transit is my only option. I have no other option other than to deal with each issue that confronts me. I have no other options, so I deal with each fear in the best way that I can. I grin and bear it.
—Robert Confiant 27 July 2017 (mod 25 March 2018)
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