Commuter daze

We’ve simply swapped newspapers for phones. Eye contact was never there. It never had (or has) a place on whirring locomotives filled with desperate commuters trying not to fall into a piping hot well of small talk and inane conversations. Shuffling feet, iPlayer booming, podcasts streaming, face blushing from the sticky air of the 9-to-5 grind. Days of meetings, handshakes, coffee runs and espresso-coloured panics await us all. There are newspapers flirting with the grimy floors but when the train shudders to a stop and an announcement informs of a fatality, phones become second limbs. Messages spurting out from every medium and endless scrolling keeps the ennui at bay.

Rush hour ramblings

Pandemonium at Waterloo

At quarter to six.

Desperate, jumping commuters

Juggling briefcases, contents akimbo

Scurry like mice to the platform’s edge.

Scuttling, weak-kneed pensioners are thrown into a gruelling moshpit

Seats are treasures

For the fast and furious

Who tread on toes and elbow ribs and shove handbags

Muffled sorrys

Echo in a room filled with people desperate to get home.

Warbling announcements tell of woeful delays

Heels click, mouths tut, throats yawn.

And then a dash to the train turns into a marathon

Survival of the fittest, else you’ll have to stand.

The horrors of rocking up at Vauxhall

Knowing there’s no space.

Pedestrians left looking lemon-faced, scorned

Like a cruel joke we ride on past.

Me seated, on my way to inhale some jambalaya,

Them standing, wondering when they’ll catch a break.

The same happens at Clapham Junction

And I’m just a little bit sympathetically smug.

European weekend

We rolled into a Spanish town, filled with green crested hills and fluffy neighbourhoods

And I’m thinking about work and life and commitments

I’m pondering the flaky freelance mode de vie,

I’m wondering if it’ll stunt me socially

And make me boring and broke.

As the flesh coloured figures roll past the window panes

And the platforms dash in a blur of brushed aluminium

Thoughts ricochet off my synapses

And flood my mind with what ifs and how to’s

The world seems so scary

My path seems so bumpy

When I make good with my brain

That’s when it’ll all piece together.

18 vs 25

At 18 I lusted after boys with big hair

And curly tendrils everywhere

Like Chase from Zoey 101

Or the late but great Jim Morrison.

We got dolled up and went to clubs

Were hit on by married men in pubs

Who wanted nothing more than to grope our bums

And pray we didn’t tell our mums.

At 25 I don’t kiss in clubs

Or humour middle-aged men in pubs

I’d much rather sit and have a natter

With fresh-faced friends who actually matter.

At 25 I don’t look around the room

Desperately searching for my potential groom

Instead I shuffle those size 6 feet

And shun the stares for a monstrous beat.

At 25 I’m paying London prices

But the student union booze-fest still entices

50p shots with £2 doubles

Always made for some serious trouble.

At 18 I puked against the Sobar wall

Was told to leave and stop being a fool

Took my weary frame off to bed

Woke up to a head as heavy as lead.

At 25 I guzzle water like no tomorrow

In a bid to minimise next day’s sorrow

Memories of my 20th still make me shiver

As I downed neon shots and messed up my liver.