Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Man On The Train (Part 3)

Sorry about the poem. I've had yet another technologically frustrating week and felt like lashing out. It wasn't aimed at any of you.

Remember the man on the train? I'd managed to avoid him since we came back from holiday. I'd moved up to the next carriage.

So this morning I was settled down with not a care in the world.

At the first stop, the internal door opens. Someone stands by the seat next to me. They stand there for ages, taking their coat off, adjusting their clothing and bag, adjusting their ipod, their mobile phone, breathing heavily.

I know it's him. I don't need to look.

He's out of breath because he's run for the train, just about getting on in time, on a carriage that's one up from where he usually sits. He's spotted me as he's walked towards the back carriage.

"Aha," he thinks, "There's that wanker I used to annoy. Yes, I really used to annoy the hell out of him. So this is where he's sitting now. Well, if he thinks he can get away from me, he's got another thing coming. Look at the pathetic cunt, reading his book. He's thinks he's all intellectual and superior. He used to turn his face away from me, as if I was a piece of shit on his shoe. Well, I'll show him who's boss."

He sits down next to me. He begins to text. He turns his music up.

I read the same line, over and over again. I'm thinking of a way to nip this in the bud. I don't want to cause a scene. I'll have to write something on a piece of paper and hand it to him. Something like, "I moved to this carriage to avoid you." No, I can't, he'll think I think he smells. I could write, "WHY?" Yes, I could write, "WHY?" In big letters.


  1. I think it's Phil, you know.

  2. Write your blog URL on the paper.

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  4. You're probably his only friend; he silently looks forward to your journeys together. You're his mentor...

  5. Oh hell. You'll have to start taking a bag of bulky items, one that you can put on the seat next to you. I wonder if he'd ask you to move it?
    I once started a conversation with someone on the bus who sat next to me wearing a loud headset. Well, it was me cheerily shouting "That's interesting music. Is it your favourite? I like The Beatles personally....." etc. The person moved to another seat thinking it was ME that was mad. Cheek.

  6. Arabella's idea is best.

  7. Murph - He doesn't look the blogging type but you never know.

    MJ - The plan has to include avoidance of a good kicking. If he read my blog he'd think me even more of a wanker.

    Cal - It could be that. He never looks me in the eye. Maybe he's too shy to pluck up the courage to speak to me.

    Arabella - He wouldn't ask me to move it. He would just stand by the seat until I did. I like the idea of me asking him about his music. It's loud enough to be annoying but not loud enough for me to recognise it. Looking at him there's probably some Paul Weller involved, though.

    Billy - It is but I can't do it.

  8. "He doesn't look the blogging type but you never know"

    Oooh, do you reckon if we all ran into one another by accident one day, that we'd somehow KNOW?

  9. It takes one to know one.

  10. Oooo be careful! He's probably desperate to get into conversation with you. If you ask him about his music he'll think he's cracked it.

    Or, maybe he just thinks you're the only normal person on the train & he feels safe with you?

    (...and what's wrong with Paul Weller...?)

  11. Scissors. Surreptitiously snip the earbud cables. He won't know it's you.

  12. Regarding the "blogging type"...

    I find I'm kinder to strangers now in case they turn out to be bloggers that I visit!

  13. I've had a friend over from London. She tells me that her journey into work is enlivened every day by a nice man who walks up and down the carriage, asking people whether they like the Muppets or Metal Mickey, bemoaning the absence of Sandy Gall from our screens, and recounting the original broadcast dates of Robin's Nest.

    It must be like having your own personal edition of I LOVE 1978.

  14. Beth - I don't think he wants conversation as he avoids eye contact. I do look quite normal, however. There's nothing wrong with a couple of Jam singles.

    Bob - My hands would have to wander and he'd surely notice that. That would give him the opportunity to hit me.

    MJ - I don't meet strangers so I have no worries on that score.

    Tim - He sounds entertaining. He'd get hit on our train.

  15. Maybe a bible, copy of War Cry, benign smille and a note saying 'have you met Jesus?'

    Either that or it's the bus.

  16. Welcome Malc. Trouble is, carrying the bible is like wearing dirty underpants. What if I have an accident?

  17. I love the idea of lashing out by writing a poem.

    Beats shouting unnecessarily at your work colleagues and swearing.

  18. Better to rhyme than commit a crime.

  19. Molly2:19 PM

    I've got a stash of stink bombs I've confiscated Geoff - do you want them? I reckon you could have some fun.

    That'd clear the carriage for you.

    How annoying for you. Glad to see you and Betty back.

  20. Steady on Molly. Some poor b*st*rd has to drive that train.

  21. Molly - I think I might have seen him off - he wasn't there yesterday or today. If I'd stepped in the fox poo in the road this morning I would have stunk the carriage out. Instead I stepped in it just now and brought it in the house.

    Istvanski - I'll sit in the driver's cabin from now on. We can do the crossword together.

  22. Molly1:59 PM

    Perhaps you could let a big bag of fleas into his hood and then accidentally on purpose tip his hood over his head with your elbow as you leave the train.

    Hey! Driver cabin rave! I'm lovin' it!

  23. Where's the nearest flea market?