Friday, 10 August 2012

The Man on Platform 2

From somewhere in front of me in the carriage, a loud voice talks into a mobile phone.
            ‘Have you had that Pot Noodle?’
            ‘Well I’ll be hungry!’
            ‘I’ll cook the Pot Noodle when I get home. Have you had that beer?’
            ‘You fat cow!’

I’m three quarters of the way through a long journey, the day is nearly over, and I’m feeling dozy and daydreamy. My head is resting on the window as the train makes its way across the green, lush landscape. A tractor is hard at work in a field, cutting hay. I watch the sun slowly setting. We seem to be chasing it.
            The window spans my seat and the one behind. There is a blind above it. Without warning, the blind is yanked downwards. It stops half-way down the window, a large wodge of chewing gum in the frame preventing it moving any further. I toy with the idea of asking the person behind me if they’ve considered that I might like the view. I decide against it. I’ll say it’s because I prefer to stay dozy and daydreamy, which is partly true. We all know it’s because I’m a wimp, though.

A rap-based ringtone blasts out from in front of me.
            ‘Hello babe.’
            ‘You didn’t! You fat cow!’

The blind inexplicably goes back up again. The sun has not set. I wonder if the person behind me has had an epiphany, and suddenly discovered the beauty outside the window.

A short while later, the train pulls into a station. Two people are standing at the train door, waiting for it to come to a complete halt. The woman behind me gets up and joins them. She looks normal, quite pretty. I wouldn’t have had her down as a blind puller. A man gets up from in front of me and joins the queue. He has short, brown hair and his face is set on scowl.
            Through the window, I can see the passengers disembarking. A woman gets off first and, despite being at the back of the queue, scowly man is off next. He heads back my way along the platform. Through the window, over the thrum of the engine, I hear a rap-based ring tone. He pulls a phone out of his pocket.
            ‘Hello babe.’
            ‘You cow!’

I’m glad this isn’t my stop.

*I've tried a new sandwich this week. I started by toasting two pieces of multigrain bread. I smooshed a ripe avocado into one piece of the toast, then sprinkled over black pepper. I topped this with chopped red and green peppers and red chilli. I spread plain houmous over the other piece of toast and sandwiched the lot together. It's no Pot Noodle, but pretty good. 8.5/10.

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