We have had a very long and rubbishly drab winter. Since this weekend the sun has come out and the mercury has risen to double figures. Glorious. There is a change in the atmosphere in terms of barometers and temperaments.
Most of us have been raised to be wary of and stay well clear of the loonies that come out at night. Realising that here in the UK, the amount of daylight (sunshine) hours is relative to the hours of darkness in Africa (broadly), this assumption of night time dangers can be reversed.This revelation was made clear to me on my journey home yesterday. My tube journey was phonetically punctuated by some young adults laughing weirdly and hanging awkwardly around the pole in the centre of the carriage. To be expected in London, some mothers do have them.
Making it safely onto the bus leg of my journey I ventured upstairs in the hope of finding a seat. Quite a few commuters were pulling the selfish “bag on seat whilst staring out the window” trick. In amongst them was a rather large gentleman spreading himself over the border of his designated seating area. Uninviting for a start, as was his right arm draped over the back of the empty seat next to him. Worse however was the eye contact and the grin on his face for all those passing him with rather blatant prison subtext. He looked like he would shank a stranger for a lollipop. I chose to move on. Finding a lone window seat I thought it was first prize. I was to be corrected.
I was soon joined by a tall gent. I only paid attention once he sat down next to me since the fumes he exuded could have intoxicated someone of a low alcohol tolerance. I did the modern thing and took out my phone and checked email and Facebook. It was then I heard the ‘pachook fsst’ of a can opening. Great, he was helping himself to more cider. It was only when he started mumbling to himself that I felt the need to further occupy the inch between my shoulder and the window. Then the seats in front of us opened up and his mates sat down. My crazy radar was beeping off the charts. I decided to stare at my phone. I did not feel like being the third (or fourth – who knows!) contributor to his chat.
Those who know me will know my usual leftist rhetoric and general hippy one love stance, but yesterday afternoon it was briefly replaced with an elitist attitude. My only conclusion is that since achieving residency I can perhaps assume that the local sense of entitlement has started to creep into my consciousness. I guess I am assimilating.
All this on the one day in weeks I didn’t bring a book for the commute. Perhaps I have no need for fiction, I can read other people and create my own stories instead.