Trainlines

The train seats are eighties brown etched with egg-yolk yellow. It’s rude to rest your feet on them, but  the carriage is empty so you do it anyway. Only one earphone works, the sun is burning your left side and, christ, there’s nowhere to throw your empty drink can.

A blur of trees. Trainlines always seem to look into the worst gardens the country has to offer. Plastic slides bask pale in the summer heat whilst branches sway like arms in a crowd. We move, with purpose, until the greenery dirties with concrete greys. 

The carriage fills, someone gives you a look and you move your legs. How rude. This is society and we all need to work together to keep everything from changing. Embrace the stasis. Embrace the eticate and expectation please, then we’ll get all get along just fine. The same person gets off the train at the next stop. A waste of a seat. Your legs return to rest upon the seat. How wonderful is it to rebel in the littlest of ways. I see you smiling.

Conversations are happening around you. All you need to do is stop thinking and listen. Suddenly, you are a part of someone’s dialogue: “Sharon never listens. She keeps going back to him.” Poor Sharon, people are talking about you and do not think you listen to them. Sharon, they are assuming that you disobeying them is you not listening. You strangely begin to defend Sharon, the absent party. Your thoughts move to a position of empathy. Sharon does understand and listen, but she still has a choice, regardless of what those around her think.

“Her choices are illogical.” The other person in the conversation says. How unfair. Choices are rarely ever illogical. There is always a logic to a decision. This, however, does not mean that every decision is a good decision. Sharon may be coerced into staying with whoever it is they are referring to. She may just love him more than he hurts or disappoints or annoys her. Or children. There could be a multitude of complex systems influencing Sharon and her decisions. Sharon weighs up her finances, hears what everyone has to say about her life, imagines her future, considers what change would look like then she decides on who she wants to be and who she wants to be with. Then she decides. It turns out Sharon decided to be with him and be that person that people talk about. She decided to be everyone else’s business when deciding her own. Don’t listen to them, Sharon, even though you probably did.

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One response to “Trainlines”

  1. inkbiotic says :

    Clever idea to use the second person in a story, using thoughts that most of us would have/have had, so it doesn’t feel intrusive. A fine story. 🙂

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