“I deal with unhappy people *all* day long.”
“Crying. Screaming at me. Telling me all their problems. Threatening me. One even called me a ‘stupid bitch’ today.”
“But that must be rewarding in so many ways.”
“I mean, don’t you feel good helping people?”
“Eh…what exactly do you think I do?”
“You’re a counselor or something?”
“Hell, no. I work in Customer Care.”
The man beside me has bugs. The man opposite him has bugs. They are coughing in unison. The lady behind me is filling in the gaps with repetitive sneezing. It’s times like this I wish I was wrapped in cling film or, at the very least, wearing a discrete dollop of Eau de Milton.
I can put on my make-up – including liquid eyeliner *and* mascara – on a fast-moving, violently rocking, train but if I try to put on my coat, I flap around like an octopus on steroids, hitting every other commuter in the vicinity…
“You’re so lucky not to wear a uniform.”
“I hate this uniform.”
“When you come home from school, do you change?”
“What do you change into?”
“Depends on what?”
“If she’s made soup, I change into my onesie.”
“If she’s made me a sandwich, I change into pyjamas.”
“Love dem crisps!”
“Keogh’s chore-eat-zO and cherry tomatoes.”
“Can really taste the chore-eat-zO in dem. And love da pack.”
“What’s with the pack?”
“Look! See dat. It’s such a happy, smiley, pig. Lovely.”
“Bet the other side isn’t as ‘lovely’.”
“Bet if you flip it over, there’s a pic of a very unhappy pig with half his arse gnawed off to make those crisps!”
She looks at me through the glass. This sultry young one with her long, dark, hair. Her gaze turns to a stare that bores straight through me. Getting unnerved, I still hold firm. I think ‘Ya can stare all you like but I’m not being ousted from my comfy seat!’
And yet, she continues to stare, her eyes widening as each moment passes. I look back, totally resolved not to give up my seat.
Then her demeanour changes to a more seductive pose. Still looking straight at me, her tongue begins to stroke the side of her lips. Slowly, very slowly, she raises a finger to her mouth and gently, very gently, begins sucking on it.
I’m looking at the girl at the glass and she’s looking directly back at me. She’s still sucking the tip of her finger and I’m thinking to myself ‘WTF is this young wan on?!?’ And yet, I can’t look away.
As she slowly turns to the corner, between the glass and the wall of the train, her long hair falls back and I see the wires from her headphones. Her eyes now closed, her mouth gently moving, I realise she’s on the phone and I’m left in no doubt what the person at the other end is ‘discussing!’
“…because I’m afraid, in ten years’ time, I will have grown an extra arm…”
“Buy anything nice?”
“So tell us then.”
Opening the bag wide, she says…
“Bottle of gin and two litres of tonic. Only €22.”
“At that price, it’s probably meths.”
“After the day we’ve had, does it really matter?!?!”
“Have a look at this thing on my chin. What do you think it is?”
“Ah feck. Have a closer look.”
“Maybe it’s a mole.”
“That’s mad talk!”
“How could it be a mole?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, if it was a mole, surely I would have felt its ickle paws on my skin?”
“Ah, you eejit!!!”
Heading to the Southside for the second time in a week. It seems like the start of a defection!
My fellow commuters this evening are an eclectic bunch. In my carriage sit two glorious ZZ Top lookalikes, enjoying the scenery as they stroke their long beards. Behind them sits the customary bunch of summer munchers with their Beshoff and Burdocks snack boxes. The girl now sitting in front of me has applied a full face of make-up *and* tonged her entire head of hair into neat little ringlets, moisturised her hands and chatted on the phone the whole time. And over these sights can be heard the informative conversation of some 13+ year old lads discussing their sexual leanings and an older teen (a 14+ year old girl) saying she has to move away from them in case anyone mistakes her for “a paedophile”…
I so miss commuting on a daily basis. I so miss my tribe!