I had just boarded my train home. I was a little jaded, slightly drunk and had work the next morning. Christ. That was a low point.
A little sleep would be lovely right about now, I thought to myself. Perhaps I’d even enjoy some 'me' time in the toilet just as a treat. I quite like the isolation of toilets. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and I encourage you to let a man live.
My daydream of sitting with my pants down in a tiny room was rather abruptly interrupted by a portly man in a rather loud, kind of Hawaiian, shirt.
He had a scraggle of wiry black hair on top of his head. His head was like a weird human version of a bobble hat.
His shirt had the three buttons from the top undone revealing patchy chest hair that wasn’t all too dissimilar to the hair on his head.
He plonked himself down right opposite me, with just the rubbery, grey table covered in dust and crumbs between us.
I looked him in the eyes, trying to look mildly intimidating. Enough to let him know that this is my domain and I am merely being kind enough to let him exist in it. But not intimidating enough so as to start a ruckus.
In truth, I most likely looked like I was having a small stroke. The man just looked at me, confused, and got his mobile phone out, plugged in a single earphone and started fiddling.
Neither of us made a sound for the first 10 minutes of the journey. I looked at the floor, wistfully mourning what could have been a lovely solo journey home.
The man continued to fiddle silently on his phone until, seemingly of it’s own accord, it blurted out whatever he was listening to at full volume.
‘AND THE PRIME MINISTER’S PANTS WERE DOWN’ said a womanly voice through the phone before she was abruptly cut off.
She was calm, formal sounding. In stark contrast to the man almost jumped out of his seat, nearly dropping his phone.
He took a moment to compose himself, dusting down his atrocious shirt, before looking over at me. Of course, I saw the whole thing unfold. I was absolutely delighted at the drama.
He took a moment to compose himself, dusting down his atrocious shirt, before looking over at me. Of course, I saw the whole thing unfold. I was absolutely delighted at the drama. If you are going to ruin my solitude, at least do something interesting.
"You didn’t hear that. This is a matter of national security. For your own safety and the safety of millions of people, repeat back to me: I. did. not. hear. that." Said the man, in a similarly calm and formal tone to the woman on the phone.
Taken aback, I took a moment to think.
“But why were her pan-” I began before the man reached over and, in a flash of ghastly Hawaiian shirt and hands, everything went black. I swear, he was very fast for a podgy fellow.
I’m not sure how long I was out for, I was groggy as hell and my entire face hurt. It was like I’d been punched by a thousand borrowers.
Then I noticed the smell. I didn't remember seeing anyone with a dog. I shuffled around in my seat uncomfortably. Then I noticed the damp. Time to go.