Sunday, September 3, 2006

Workshop: On a train

So I’m sitting here with this chick, and I’m looking at the chick, and she’s looking at me. I’m looking at her, she’s looking at me. I’m looking at her, she’s looking at her book. I’m looking at her legs. Short skirt, bit of thigh. Shifts in her seat, more thigh. Eyeful of thigh. Lick my lips, eyeful of thigh; she catches my eye.

What you looking at? She’s caught my eye.
What am I looking at? I look out at the sky.
What you looking at? She’s caught my eye.
Nothing, nothing. She sees through the lie.

She’s caught my eye, I should just have said thigh. Don’t know why I didn’t say thigh. Just say thigh, why waste time on a lie?

I turn back and look. She has put down her book. She is staring at me and I look away.

Filth, she is saying. Filthy filthy filth.
What? I am saying. I’m sorry I looked.
I know your type, she says, I’ve read it in books.

I can’t help it, god help me, I don’t know why I am doing it. I can’t help it though, who wouldn’t? Who wouldn’t just do it? I can’t meet her eye so I look down at her thigh. I could just have looked out at the sky. But I don’t know why, I have to look at her thigh.

A plump, lovely thigh.

She is screaming and screaming and screaming.

Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilth, she is screaming, you filthy fucker.

Suddenly I realise, this chick is a nutter.

Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilth, she is screaming, you filthy fucker.

Now it’ll never be said that I don’t handle pressure. Never will anyone say I buckle under. No one can say that I don’t know what to do when some chick is screaming filthy fucker at me.

I do a runner. I am out of my seat and straight to the door.

She is screaming and screaming and screaming. But I am soon gone.

Bye, I am saying as I tug on the door.

But there is a problem, an issue, a difficulty ahead. Somehow the door is stuck fast and won’t budge.

Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilthy fucker, she’s screaming and I can’t escape. Fiiiiiiilthy fucker, she’s screaming, filthy filth filth.
I pull and I heave but the door is stuck fast. I think about the window but the train keeps on moving.

Her mouth is open just like a tunnel, red-rimmed and gaping, dark, uninviting. Her mouth is wide open and she won’t stop screaming.

Fiiiiiiiiiiiiilthy, fiiiiiiiiiiiilthy, fiiiiiiiiilthy.

I hear the door open and here is my saviour. A man is standing in the doorway, uniformed and capped. He is the conductor, holding a clipper. I reach for my ticket but what am I thinking? The girl is still screaming. It’s time I was leaving.

Wait please sir, the conductor is saying. The girl is still screaming and now she is sobbing.

The filthy, filthy fucker, she’s sobbing. He wanted to rape me. He fucking undressed me, and mentally molested me.

No, I am saying, I was only looking.

Filthy fucker, she’s sobbing. Filthy fucking molester.

The conductor is pointing his clipper right at me. I try to move past him; he jabs it right at me.

Wait pleasse sir, he is saying. I’m afraid there’s a fine.

A fine, I am saying, you have to be joking.

Do I look like I’m joking? He doesn’t look joyful. He looks like he’s angry.

I am not having a good day.

The train is slowing, coming into a station. Now I must leave, I’m growing impatient.

Come on, I’m saying.

Come on?

The girl has stopped screaming. The carriage is silent. The train has stopped. We are in a siding.

How long will we wait here? I say to the conductor. I want to detrain at the very next station.

He folds his arms. He is a big man.

There’s the matter of a fine.

A fine, says the girl.
A fine, says the conductor.

A fine? I am saying. But I have done nothing.

Yes, you’ve done something. You know you’ve done something. You were molesting.

I am beginning to regret my choice of mode of transport.

So I reach for my pocket, because there is my wallet, and then I am swinging, slapping the face of the conductor; he’s reeling. I quickly push past him and then I am running. Along the passageway, out of the train and down and away. Following me faintly, the sound of her screaming, you are so filthy. Yes, but I will not pay.

Once I feel safe, I sneak back onto the train. I duck into a compartment that has space only for one, and safe in the numbers, for the rest of that journey, keep my eyes to myself.

DR 2007

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