I was on my way home from a workshop in Central London. It’d been a fun, but incredibly long night, which saw me get lost (inside the building where the workshop was held, no less), and very narrowly avoiding cutting a bit of my finger off with a lino cutter.
But it was fun nonetheless.
As I slumped down in my seat on the train, I thought I’d take advantage of the near-empty carriage and get out my choice of train reading for the day – Fast Girls, edited by the wonderful Rachel Kramer Bussel.
I was quite looking forward to a quiet train ride, in which I could read Saskia Walker’s story in the anthology without being interrupted by, say, two gruff and beardy men with indistinguishable accents choosing to sit right next to me instead of anywhere else in a reasonably empty carriage.
So, guess what happened next?
“Mind if we keep ya company?” the older man said, scaring the absolute bejeezus out of me with his sudden being there. I nearly choked on the pastry I was eating and tried to brush off the crumbs in reaction.
The old man moved, but only to the next seat along, presumably so he could have a bit of mint lads banter with the younger man, who was sitting across from me. I felt a bit taken aback, not in the least because I was, up till that point, enjoying a story which had so far featured masturbation and fucking in the shower – I was rather looking forward to reading what happened next.
I put the book back in my bag, not wanting to alert them any further to what I was reading (although the cover of the book kind of gave it away) , and not really having anything else to read (apart from Mikaya Heart’s orgasm book ) I just slumped and tried to listen to what the Beards were talking about.
It was an interesting conversation to say the least. I couldn’t make out half of what they were saying because both their accents were so strong, but with the little information I had, I played a game.
That game being called “Imagine what a random stranger on the train’s life looks like”. You’ve all played it.
I imagined them being buddies from the Army, the older beardy being the mentor for the younger beardy. I listened to them chatting about… stuff, once in a while catching words like “it’s Mugabe’s fault”, “…bomb strapped to my heart”, and what has to be my number one favourite sentence of the week –
Young Beardy: “An’ he pulled out a hunting knife [makes gesture to indicate size of said knife]. He went ‘Where d’you think yer going, son? Butlins?”
I came home cold, horny, achy and, most of all, wondering who the actual fuck would utter a sentence like that.