23 November 2012

Ode to the London Underground

If you prefer to listen to the audio version, here it is.



4 minutes for the next train.
3 minutes.
2 minutes.
1 minute.
Still one minute.
Where is it?
One minute still?

Here it comes.
Mind the gap.
Mind the yellow line.
Mind the idiot with the suitcase.

Ouch!

Get off the carriage.
Get off the carriage.
Come on we haven't got all day.

Let the passengers off the train first!

But they're not getting off, they think they have all day!

Run in, run in, push, the doors start closing...

Stand clear of the closing doors.

I'm trying, I'm trying!

Maybe I can sit there... no, I can't.
The priority seat is empty, shall I...?
No, I won't be able to relax, wondering whether I should give up my seat.

If the lady looks a bit old, will I offend her?
If a lady looks pregnant, will I offend her?
If I don't give up my seat, will I be offending society in general?

Where is the rule book???

Meanwhile I will just stand here and stare into space.
Or read the adverts.
But I don't want anyone seeing me reading the one about the dating site for professionals.
They'll think I'm desperate.
But I have a boyfriend.
They'll think I'm not happy.
But I'm just curious.
They'll... never mind, no-one's really looking, no-one really cares whether I read that stupid advert or not.

Maybe I'll read another one, the one about problems with your bladder...
Can one not read the adverts without wondering about what people will think?

I'll just look around.
He's wearing an interesting jumper.
His shoes don't match his trousers.
He caught my eye.
He'll think I'm staring.
I'm not, look, look how I look at everyone else in the carriage as well.

I look at the woman who's chewing gum. Can't stand it.
I look at the boy who's biting his nails. Can't stand it.
I look at the girl who's just sitting there... with her iPod full blast:

Get some proper headphones!!!

I don't like her music.
Shall I say something?
Shall I stare at her until she feels intimidated,
Until she feels like she's intruding in my auditory space,
Until she's so ashamed of her uncivil behaviour that she snaps the wire in two and never listens to loud music in the tube ever again?

I'll just grab that seat over there instead.
Take out my Kindle.

Now I can relax.
I have my own space.
I can just sit and read.
Enjoy the silence (kind of).
Enjoy the fact that I can do nothing but read.
I love the tube.

Oh shit, my stop!

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