Let's watch this video of a leopard seal chasing after a tiny penguin and discuss the parallels between the penguin's plight and the morning I've had.
The footage, captured in Antarctica for BBC's upcoming documentary series, Seven Worlds, One Planet, begins with the seal looming below a penguin, who is trying to escape via flailing on broken ice. The seal reminds me of the very large man who stuffed himself into an already packed subway car, and the flailing is me trying to escape the present moment by sending a million text complaints to people who don't care.
"It's time to retreat," David Attenborough, the narrator, says. So begins a dramatic chase scene; the penguin navigates the water in immense distress before leaping onto rocks populated by a bunch of penguins. This is me hurdling myself up the subway staircase and into a coffee shop line with a trove of other tired, animal-brained people.
The seal then disappears into the water.
"Now, it's back to square one," says Attenborough, somberly. "There's no alternative but to run the gauntlet once again."
This is me arriving at work, saying this exact line to myself as I go down the slippery slope of a manic coffee trance.
Our tuxedoed bird slips back into the water, where, as Attenborough puts it, the seal "seams to be toying with the penguin." When the penguin finally tires out and gets on a big chunk of ice, they meet each other face to face. The penguin stands its ground, and the two appear to have a conversation of sorts. Sentimental music plays in the background.
This is me quiet-sobbing at work, as I'm watching this video. The seal is me saying "I'm fragile and tired," and the penguin is Other Me responding, "Stop crying. You're an adult."
In a glorious turn of events, the seal turns away and goes back into the water. I stop crying, spellcheck my article, and submit it to my editor, surviving another morning of cushy human existence.
PS: Seven Worlds, One Planet premieres on the BBC on Sunday, October 27.