I commuted for years, every day, by train,
tube and bus, around town.
It was pretty tiresome as I recall, reaching a particular low
on the day I had to jump down onto the track at a London terminus
when seven months pregnant,
because of sudden horrific overcrowding
on the station concourse and platform.
But I am quite certain it was never as bad as it is now -
I have just endured a one hour assault on my senses.
A man bellowed directions into his phone,
'Noooh! Noooh! Shepherd's Bush.
NooH! Whaat? NoooH! Not Richmond!
You come out... meet me at the exit!
Meet me at the EXIT.
NooH! Where are you?
This then turned, inexplicably, to a graphic stream of invective,
at which point I moved to the next carriage.
A man with BO and a cough sat next to me.
When he left, he was replaced by a man eating
a fried chicken drumstick with his elbow in my face.
The man on my left fell asleep and lolled towards me,
I shrank towards the fried chicken.
A woman opposite glared and grimaced
as if at some internal conflict.
The voluble Brazilian family were at least incomprehensible,
but one of them was filing her nails.
I haven't got an i-Phone to gaze at, or a working i-Pod
to cancel out the other i-Pods.
I couldn't read my book.
So I shut my eyes
and I tried to picture Romney Marsh churches.
It didn't really work.
So I'm getting it off my chest here.