Something peculiar happened to me this week. It was early morning on Wednesday 2nd of January 2013. The ominous year 2013 had just begun when I realized I had seemingly just joined a cult.
When I was younger I was always very fascinated by cults and how people joined these things without realizing what they were getting into. The consequences are not necessarily always dramatic but how can you know up front whether you end up as one of those guys going door to door telling the story of Jebus or whether you’d end up committing mass-suicide by drinking the funny juice? Either way, on that particular morning I woke up way too early and started doing what all members of my cult do on a daily basis. I climbed out of bed before the break of dawn and walked away from family and loved ones to get into a metal box.
This metal box is adorned on the outside with four bright sources of light, two white ones at the front and two red ones at the back of the box. Suddenly this box starts travelling as if with a mind of its own, taking me away from the bright lights of the city and into the dark and sleepy countryside. A bright screen indicates my destination on a map and a strange voice warns me of all the turns that are coming up. All along the way more and more members of my cult start joining in, in their very own metal box with their very own destination, their red tail-lights illuminating my face as the endless train of metal boxes starts getting more and more tightly packed.
The train of light cuts up the countryside and beckons more and more people along the way to wake up and walk away from their wife and kids. I don’t quite understand how it does this but I sit there watching in awe as the never-ending stream of boxes keeps growing. Occasionally the train reaches a crossing where it meets another train of light coming from a different part of the country. The people in that train don’t bother greeting me though. They all know what they’re there for and even though they execute their sinister task of breaking up families without complaining, they don’t necessarily like what they do. They have a job to do and none of them expects any kindness from the world in return.
When my box finally came to a standstill at the end of the world, I found there a strange building behind a giant fence. Inside that building, they make a lot of noise and they keep people busy for a full day. Everybody pretends they make a difference and that the world would come to a grinding halt if the train of light didn’t make its early-morning journey through the sleepy countryside of Belgium.
It was a cold and rainy morning on Wednesday 2nd of January and I woke up a commuter.