Sunday, 15 February 2015

7.14 - by Tariq Jazeel

Reflections on Trains, by Amita Murray

It’s the 7.14 to Ely, via Cambridge. Filling up steadily, with work weary folk, tired, hungry, smelly, eager to get home. There aren't that many seats left, but there’s still a full 7 minutes before the train leaves.
There he is, I’ve seen him before on this train. Sitting in a bay of 4 seats, studiously avoiding eye contact with anyone, but looking quite expansive. Well, his slightly tatty, misshapen blue workbag is placed on the seat beside him, scarf and gloves balancing on top of them. His legs crossed, and the points of weird green shoes nearly touching the seat in front of him. How is it possible for this bloke to effectively take three seats all to himself? Every bloody evening. He’s pretending to be engrossed in that poxy work thing he’s reading, must be an academic, this train’s full of ‘em.

But I know he’s seen me, I know he’s doing everything in his power to avoid acknowledging me right now, to avoid having to move his bag for me to sit down, or to uncross his legs, pull them in, create some space for others. Come on dude, look at me, I want you to move. I could, I suppose, sit elsewhere. But no, I want this selfish fucker to move for me. I bet he doesn't even use this train every day, during rush hour, like the rest of us. Like all those work-shy academics, I bet he works at home when he bloody wants to. There! I knew if I stood here long enough, he’d have to acknowledge me. Yes, I do want to sit there mate. Haha, unfold your legs and move your bag sucker.

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