Monday, 17 November 2014


One eve (not Christmas nor New Year’s) she sat cold as a defrosting pigeon on a platform. Trains. Heck she didn’t really have a place to be so she needn’t worry but it was cold so what can you be but morose. 

The man in military uniform swaying side to side disconcerted her beady eyes because he was fat and inebriated and on a platform. 

The lad sat beside her but got up soon enough and shook his jacket collar apart around his neck where stretched earphones dangled and sat back down again. 

The two femme fatales at the end of the bench sniggered.

‘What do you work in?’

Sniggering stops and the one with the immense eyelashes glares, the other flutters hers and searches for a phone.

‘Don’t be scared I’m only making conversation.’

We can all see that and it makes perfect sense but it just doesn’t sit right in the dark in the cold in the purgatory of a train.

‘Marketing.’ She says bluntly.

‘And yourself?’ 

He hasn’t got friendly eyes but rounds off his vowels with a smile.

‘I do PR for an events company.’

‘Do you know who works up there?’ He points at some skyscrapers looming over the station.

‘No why should we?’

‘Lawyers. Top dog lawyers.’

The man in the overcoat coughs a bit splutters an inch towards the edge of the platform. He might not be military actually, too rotund but he is tall, an odd old guy rolling his bowels around in his slacks.

‘Guess what I do?’

‘I don’t know.’ She bites.

‘Can we get a hint?’ I think the other girl thinks this one might be “fit”, he’s lean and wears one of those jackets Richard Hammond wears, but I also think the first girl thinks he’s a bit of a waster; a morsel of lint she needs to get off with a sticker.

‘Army.’ The first one says and I do understand why.




‘You work up there with the lawyers don’t you?’ The hopeful one lisps out.

‘No. I work in sales.’


‘What do you sell?’ She’s still hopeful and now engaged.

‘The most boring thing as well. IT of course.’

Train remains “expected at” aeons away. Oh p’lease and the lad strides on committed to gain ground and hold some attention whilst not waning attraction. Everything is for them. Those two. That particular one. He was born to please them.

After zipping up his jacket and unzipping it slightly he speaks, ‘I studied marketing. Wish I’d continued with it really.’

‘Never too late,’ one chimes -

‘Yer still a spring chicken,’ chimes the other.

‘Yer what?’

‘Still a spring chicken. That’s a saying isn’t it?’

‘So do you know of any good places to go out?’

‘No. We don’t much.’

I like how the bolder one speaks for them both and I like how the lean one doesn't take notice of feigned stupidity. No one is giving way in this game of wordy-footsies, and you wouldn’t even know it, what a puny spectator sport this makes.

‘The train now approaching platform three is the delayed…’

Somebody keep and eye on the fat bloke swaying! It’s alright it’s fine the train’s rolled in and the bewildered walrus rushes on board, parting the seas, he may have been sleeping standing up. And the two in dresses climb up in to the carriage; the lad remains cheerful as he keeps their attention by dangling hot disinterest and cool warm-heartedness all whilst his left foot leaves the platform and his right foot shuffles closer to them inside the train. The doors beep - that loud defying bleep - and as a pigeon I sit encrusted in frozen specks of dirt.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Flat Atlas

Why’s he got a limp?

What dyu mean why’s he got a limp?

Why’s he got a limp?

Flat shoes she said, but he said he wears heeled boots – he’s a heel-wearer. Lack of sleep, not sleeping well she mused and he said no he’s been sleeping alright lately.

Rest of the workers look on as this lame colt walks slowly to and fro from stage to back-stage to green room. He still has to make the coffee, order the pizzas making sure that at least two kinds have pepperoni topping; one deep pan; one a romana base; and two must be vegetarian. None of the acts were ever gluten-free or vegan, thank goodness he thought to himself as he staggered carrying boxes of pizza piled atop one another with a straightened back as possible; the tower of pizzas leaning upon his ill-burdened shoulders. Dammit. A pathetic Atlas (but with a paunch no muscles and flat hair) if ever you saw one. He had forgotten to buy the non-alcoholic beer.