Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Early Tuesday evening

It’s dusk and I am yet to find a bed for the night. This isn’t ideal as I’m in a strange city, so strange in fact, I can’t remember what it’s called. I’m here on a scaffolding job. And there’s a war on. I’m in a roadside bar watching football. Aidan Corrigan is there too. He’s a teacher, not a scaffolder or a soldier, so it’s weird him being here. We order soup.

I feel something on my foot. Like a tremor. I ignore it and comment how warm it is, the weather not the soup. My foot shakes again. I stir.

I wake up. Things are blurry but I recognise the station. It is my station. I panic, unsure if this is the last stop are not. Morrissey is still screaming in my ears. I quickly pull out my headphones and grab my bag and coat.

An old woman is standing by the door. She’s who woke me, how sweet I think. As I’m on way out the door I thank her, she replies but in my bleary rush, I miss it.

Outside, on the platform, I have regained my composure. The old lady is waiting. She is using a walking stick which is what she must have been hitting my foot with. I regain my composure and thank her properly, trying to muster as much Irish charm as I can.

She is shaking her head.

“You shouldn’t have your feet on the seats”

What, I think. Did I? That doesn’t sound like me.

“Pardon” I say

“You’re a naughty boy” she shouts

I don’t know what to say or where to look.

She turns around and walks toward the exit, as she turns for the steps, she looks over at me. She shoots a look of disapproval and disappears beneath the stairwell.

I shake my head and try to remember what I was dreaming about.

Illustration by Gemma Luker

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