Sunday, 6 December 2015

Guide Dogs (or things with jobs)

Have you ever had it where you’ve been so hungover that when you put a sweet in your mouth you forget to chew? There’s two older men over there, gentlemen is what I’d describe them as, and one wears a faded navy blue jumper with a muted v-neck and the other wears a maroon jumper rolled up at the sleeves. They look like teddy bears and the blue one is drinking water from the smallest tiniest bottle of water I have ever seen and the maroon one has bitten in to an orange still with its skin on*. Now the carriage fills with the smell of zest and I look around and expect to find more wonder. There was a blind woman with a guide dog at the station. I love guide dogs and all dogs in fact but particularly guide dogs, who have a pretty worthy job and I wonder if a guide dog met a police dog at someone’s Christmas party, would they get on? Would they even acknowledge that they both were canines with important jobs; I wonder what they think of cats. And the guide dog patiently stood head bowed at the foot of the owner (who I am presuming was blind) whilst she intently thumbed through her boarding tickets. One by one. And I thought how would she know which one is outbound and which one’s return? But she did know! And then she went through the big barriers with the dog at her side. And then I thought blind people mustn’t be able to use the self-service checkout tills because you won’t know which buttons to key in for items and so they really can’t get rid of the checkout people. Or the train station guards who sometimes open the barriers for you when you’ve missed a train and so you want to pop back out for a cigarette or to buy a sandwich, and then when you come back they remember you like a doorman at a venue. The other night I couldn’t believe that this doorman at the theatre recognised and remembered me. Admittedly, I have been there a lot but to get that kind of recognition you must be a regular and I don’t think I’ve ever been a regular anywhere. It’s an ambition. I’ve had friends who work in places and so they recognise me, but the reason for the recognition is a preexisting relationship not a relationship built on having the door opened for you multiple times. Wow. It might have been my greatest moment of the month (of November, which was dire but it’s over now so moving up moving on). Finally it’s cold and proper, not muggy and ineffectual. The weather that is. Sticking my finger in to my mouth to try and dislodge a bit of sticky sweet makes me think that this is what it must feel like to wear dentures and not have your own teeth anymore, only gums. That will be a sad day when you can’t chew on sweets and in fact be afraid of them incase you swallow one whole and then sadly, top it. The ticket inspector just called, doing his rounds. Do you think that milkmen still wear the milkman uniforms classically seen on re-runs of old television shows? Because I’m never up early enough to catch the milkman who comes to our door or ever see a milk float, I don’t have any way of checking. I wonder why milkmen had to wear those white uniforms in the first place if they’re just putting bottles on people’s doorsteps. Was it for the guise of hygiene or maybe to remind the people of milk? Who knows. A girl in the seat opposite just fell asleep and lolled her head and then woke up and is now falling back asleep for it to happen again. Trains are fun. Moving scenery is fun. Sweets are fun. Even with a stonking hangover. 



*I think it was to peel it more effectively.