London came to a complete and utter grinding halt. “It has begun!” screamed a woman clutching her Topshop pearls as her £100 blow out flays in the wind. Limbs go awry and chaos erupts. Darkness.
London had become a derelict wasteland. I could hear faint cries in the distance, and the routinely sigh of discontent after a minute or so had passed. A light gust of wind sent a regular costa cup, which once housed a skinny macchiato my way. To my left I see the indigenous Citywankersaurus, most recognisable by its distinguishable characteristic, a copy of City.Am neatly tucked under its arm. A look of anger with a hint of despair is poignant in his eyes, his phone is firmly pressed against his ear and the blood has drained from his arm.
In addition to my trainers, a backpack containing a bottle of water, plasters and a novel, a treacherous detour into Sainsbury's now has me armed with two croissants and a banana. I look yonder to where the costa stood gallantly, the deceitful temptress that played host to the never ending supply of dark nectar that provides you with an untapped reservoir of energy, however I had heard the grisly tales that had began to circulate amongst the crowd, once you went in you didn’t come back out. and if you did you missed your bus. I resisted.
I’m cocooned in a sandwich of myself an obscure armpit and someone’s v e r y h e a v y breathing. A Malaysian woman has a wide smile across her face; she looks conspicuously out of place yet so content. I was like her once, pure and untainted. But the tube changed me. I hear a snap and turn sharply, a blogger has just uploaded picture of the crowded bus onto her Snapchat.
I make it to work.
I had almost purged the memory of this morning’s commute. I inhale. The air is thick and the wind carries the exasperated sigh of a senior exec that is currently missing his youngest child’s violin recital. I narrow my eyes. I see the number 11 across the street. We lock eyes. The driver smirks. Green light. I run. The bus doesn’t stop. Dickhead.
I hop onto the back of bus and mould myself into the elbow of an elderly lady, she squints her eyes and flashes me a look of disapproval. I lower my head in shame.
The bus has terminated. The driver is experiencing a mental breakdown, and puts a hex on all the passengers. He gets off the bus, however not before telling us that he has gone to pursue a career in competitive fishing. I hope you catch a mighty big trout, good fellow.
I begin to walk, and then I begin to worry. What if I can’t get over the river? An involuntary shudder compels me. I get out my phone to try and find solace with city mapper. Taking a jet pack across the river is a suggested route, I mouth a silent ‘fuck you” to my phone.
Another bus has terminated. I consider getting on a Boris bike, but in that same moment my heart scoffed at me, I’m assuming telepathically. I see a man and a woman whizz past, their bikes decorated with House of The South and House of The North Banners. I punch my fist in the air then lower it towards my chest as I exchanged a familial nod with the woman from south. A mocking jay flies low and sings the katniss’ song. I wipe my forehead with my oyster card and continue to walk.
I hear low rumbling. I turn around and retrieve my oyster card in one swift move. With my thumb and index finger firmly securing the card, I’m now armed. The rumbling grows louder. Others have joined me now, armed with their various seasonal tickets and travel cards. Adrenaline is coursing through my veins. I am momentarily blinded by a light and see what looks like the fourth horseman of the apocalypse, but as it draws nearer I realise it is in fact the vivacious, vibrant and perfectly cuboid shaped DLR. Overcome with joy, a tear escapes from the corner of my eye.
Words by Sandra Falase (@musingsandtea)