The Train Witch. A contemporary fairy tale.

Rude-as woman on the train.

Moves the seat so now we can all be crowded. Yay. There was plenty of room. But darling, do what you want. You know I love SQUASH.

And now she sits sniffing. Wiping her nose. Blowing her nose in loud, long, lingering bursts.

I hope you’re happy, girl.

I glare. (And feel like the characters dealing with Amy on the subway in the movie ‘Trainwreck’).

It’s the anti-social train transformation,

Like Clark Kent, I transform from quiet Leonie, well-behaved, well-mannered Leonie, to the Train Witch from hell.

Please don’t sit near me, squashed up close, knees hitting knees.

I hate the crush.

Train Witch me
Train Witch me

i hate the noise.

I hate hearing your long phone conversations.

Some things should be kept private. They just should. The whole carriage doesn’t want to hear about your date last night. Trust me.

It is as though, once on the train, I desire to devolve to indistinct humanity, I want to be sealed in a vacuum as the cylindrical train seals me in and forces me to be squashed by humanity in it’s overcrowding.

Oh, no. She’s sniffing again.

I can feel the germs emanating from her seat.

What is it about public transport that brings out the worst? In others, and in me, the Train Witch.

i think it is the dailiness.

The crowdedness.

The lack of control.

Coupled with the fact, plain fact, that we are all either still asleep, in that morning haze, or dog dead tired and freezing cold in the dark, dismal evenings after work.

Maybe too, the train forces us, propels us in its manufacture and speed, its jostling and  rattling, forces me, to actually rub shoulders ( and arms and legs and good ness knows what else)  with strangers.

Thrust among a range of humanity.

For forty-five minutes, on the express.

You can’t physically hide. So you do so mentally.  Because no one wants to talk.

They want to sit, or stand, in their own private worlds. I want to sit, or stand, in my own world. Apart.

Close to but separate from The Others.

This is the train culture. Day in. Day out.

“I saw you on the train last night” someone says.

No you didn’t. It wasn’t me. It was my alter ego. It was Train Witch me. A hologram of my physical self. While mentally I was in a galaxy far, far, away.

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