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When I Came To ...

The Writers' Block #28 - Theme: Coming to / coming round

This time, when I came to, I was in a train carriage. Scattered Metro newspapers made the place resemble a rabbit hutch.

‘The next station is Gospel Oak,’ announced the calm lady’s reassuring voice.

Yet it was a man’s urgent voice that grabbed my attention. American, serious, demanding. The speech was from the Obama-like man opposite, in his well-tailored suit, eyes closed, focussed. Listening on his headphones, he was oblivious to the fact that we could all hear his adrenaline-fuelled, motivational track. The woman beside him smirked and continued applying her blusher. He had obviously just sat down next to her and was amusing to her in his ignorance.

Beside the smirker was a well-groomed man, beard trimmed to perfection, with casual shirt, shorts and moccasins. He was reading Esquire magazine with an almost religious seriousness. He exuded an air, a demeanour of ‘don’t look at me, but if you do I know you’ll be impressed’.

I was flanked by two women. Both young, but poles apart. On my left, she was quite serene, no doubt listening to calm music on her headphones, dreamily staring out the opposite window. Her mind far away, drifting. Yet to my right, a meerkat fidgeted. She was just as slim and petite, but completely unsure of herself. Texting, every few seconds she halted, looked around, then resumed her frenzied activity.

Smirking woman produced a horrendous necklace from her bag. Bulbous and metallic. The sheer mass of it clanked against her chest.

Then I noticed hyper-guy. Ginger, curly, unkempt, tracksuited. His leg jogging on its own, jumping to a distressed inner rhythm.

The train’s brakes sang, like Gospel Oak’s very own mermaids on the tracks, hailing innocent commuters to their doom.

Obama-man stopped the Standing Up To Your Fears track and neatly folded away his headphones, placing them into his jacket pocket with OCD precision.

‘The next station is Kentish Town West.’

A woman arrived with her own collection of cliches. Doing business on the go, blasting the apparent God-send on the phone with compliments, she reversed into the seat between Obama and Ginger. She wore a loose, black dress, refuting the spring sunshine outside. Crossing her legs I stared at her Roman sandals. Literally a few straps wound around the foot and ankle. Hardly comfortable. Or practical. But why silver?

Esquire-man licked his thumb and turned a page with precision and style.

Daydream-girl, possibly on some foreign beach, smiled.

Meerkat, living in a constant state of stress, tried to focus on Facebook.

The ginger jogger jigged and twitched, trying to get a glance down the newly-arrived cleavage beside him.

Obama composed himself, readying for the sales pitch.

Smirking woman, complete in battle dress and with far too much doll-like make-up, appeared lost to me, hiding behind the lipstick and rouge and powder.

Silver sandals barked more facile thankyous.

I closed my eyes.

To them, in their little bubbles, I was invisible.

But which one should I choose?

For me to live, one of those had to die...


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