Friday, July 21, 2006

Hot town/ summer in the city/ back of my neck/ getting dirt and gritty

Taking the tube home from work the other day, I was reading the Metro (free newspaper picked up in Tube stations for something to do besides attempting to avoid making eye contact with fellow passengers) and came across an article talking about how hot it was. Pavements are apparently melting across the nation, and children are becoming stuck in the quick-sand like bogs of tar. Commuters on the Tube in London are being transported at temperatures that are considered inhumane for the transportation of livestock. Riveting reading, I assure you.

So I'm sat on my vaguely sticky seat, which is right next to one of the doors, and so has that plastic bit on one side, when this guy gets on at King's Cross. He's wearing wrinkled khaki trousers, and a wrinkled damp top, and his tie is sort of dangling out of his pocket, and he smells like he's showered in beer. There's nowhere to sit, so he grabs the overhead hand rail and sort of leans into it, feet spread apart, and lurches back and forth as the tube jolts along. Somehow, he is sort of leaning over me around the plastic thing, which shows real talent.

A few stops later, the seat next to me opens up and he manages to fall into it before anyone else does. At this point, the reek of this guy is so overpowering that you can watch people in the carriage try to live without breathing. He then procedes to fall asleep, and as he's doing this he starts to fall over onto me. Now, I really don't want this guy to touch me, so I'm trying to make my self as small as possible in my seat. This doesn't really work at 5'10", but hey, I'm trying. It finally gets to the point where I'm sitting almost sideways, and trying to vend him off with the back of my book. The guy sat across from me keeps glancing up, and I can tell that he's trying not to laugh. Finally, the beer soaked guy's arm slips and his head absolutely cracks down onto the arm rest. His head shoots up like he's just discovered why that guy wanted him to bend over in the shower earlier, he blearily looks around, and staggers off at the next station to the relief of everyone on the carriage because now they can breathe again. Yes, oh yes, London is fantastic.

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