Tube Strife

Roaming my eyes in the crowded London tube wondering if they put on their brave, back and forth, forth and back, to work, to home, to work – again and again, in this stale-smelling contraption.

That grey suit with faded blue tie, standing solemn by the door, is there a wife waiting at home to turn her face away in anger when he nears to kiss her in greeting? What has he done to incur her wrath? Was it a prolonged burn of frustrated years or a flash-in-the-pan indiscretion?

Glancing at the the baby-faced, 20-I’m in the middle of something, fidgeting across me with her red ugly boots, staring intently above my head at the green line with the names of the stops – frowning from short-sightedness, or is it from remembering how many dates she has had with egotistical losers since February? How much longer then until she settles? I will give it until next February.

Umbrella point lady missed the round of my right shoe by a mere inch, as she caned it down with every heavy step she took, grimacing slightly as she does. Not well, I gather – should she not be in bed resting? What duty so vital as to subject oneself to this crowded discomfort? Perhaps she is a single mother? There is always no one else and no other options for single mothers.

All faces closed like the tube doors as we rock gently from South Kensington left to Cannon Street right. Each passenger attempting to tube strike their own faces of apathy as I silently guess what private horrors or hell their calm masks must hide and their serene composure disguise.


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