Printed from WriteWords -

One day in who`s life

by  nasha17

Posted: Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Word Count: 751
Summary: This is not a mistake in the title, though i'm not really sure if it works. It's a day in who is life, but will that have its desired effect? I also want it to be a short story, but does it really fit the criteria? I would appreciate any comments at all!

At the train station, in the morning, i held back in the queue, nor at the front, nor at the back, average, wanting a seat but not sure how to open those big Great Western doors. A weathered commuter revealed the entrance for the rest, stop-starting at the descent of the fugitives. I stumbled upon an aisle seat next to a grey man reading The Times and hoped he might discard the supplement with the easy crossword. He did not, but I managed to entertain myself, this being a non-habitual journey. Pinstriped arseholes gathered here, huffing when foreign ladies gently questioned the use of the window seat as a beige raincoat hanger. Laptops were slowly, slightly relocated with their accessories to allow the owner to cause enough disturbance to make the window-seater decide to stand next time.

I stared at a middle-aged woman opposite me; she had a highlighted plummy small bob and a certain aged beauty and she was proud of the Christian Dior compact she used to touch up her jerking crows' feet. Her eyes stayed still; she had no newspaper but wore commuterís clothes. I watched for a long time, shamefully diverting my eyes as she caught them, but she benevolently gave me a true smile and changed the trainís tone.

What a cacophony of departure! There was no chance of being near to first. I was early for my appointment and very unprepared for a battle.

On the tube a young man caught my attentions. I think he looked similar to an old friend of my brotherís, with atypically cropped brown hair. He wore a suit but no tie and balanced a battered briefcase between his legs, where I noticed he was wearing scarlet Converse basketball shoes, not typical of the IT employee he had grown up to become. I wondered if he had a long way to walk to the offices of his demise.

A four hour wait lay ahead of me and I thought I may tantalise the concealed tourist in me and visit the Covent Garden I imagined. I walked for a long time trying to find what I believed to be present but kept circling back to the very few stalls of fork-bracelets or Big Ben t-shirts. The cobbled centre held mostly foreign schoolchildren in shell-suits giggling and yawning alongside a few squatting student types eating baked potatoes from polystyrene. I needed to satisfy animal urges, my body rumbled and I decided on an outdoor area, fully peopled and looking onto the cobbled square. Hunger beckoned.

I sat alone in a lucky spot of winter sun. I slowly ate the spaghetti and absorbed the view. Many people wandered past, some very close. They did not take notice, occupied, but I saw them all. I saw a young man. He walked like all the others with a case in one hand and I had lost interest when he picked up a rubbish bin and shook it free of its contents.

He was a short man who followed this bizarre action by standing on the bin and shouting. Had this smartly dressed computer programmer lost his connection and would he soon ping and have to be programmed further, for the good of contemporary conformity? He was really shouting, almost barking and none of his words I heard. He leaped and now with his baggage, climbed aboard. His case seemed reluctant to reveal its guts but he forced repeatedly, nearly in a comic manner and then a knife was in his hand. I jumped and two more revealed their own shining ambitions. Machetes, twenty metres from me. How could the faceless population relax as this mad man cajoled the knives around his body? None had yet fallen into passersí hearts but so many children were milling. I was paralysed with confusion as the minders placed pennies in the young onesí hands. They started to throw their own shiny metal at a point I could not see and as they scattered, I saw an upturned trilby and the madmanís eyes pointing towards it. The red-shoed street performer wondered if he would have enough for his rent arrears.

I picked up my new passport and the expiry date said March 2013. A first ten-year passport is a frightening possession to hold. The following day I boarded a flight to a city of which I knew little, where I followed my passport to a city of which I knew nothing. I cried twice but remained at the median, always.