Here's Looking At You
A morning, like any morning. Get up, get dressed, open the kitchen door, eat cereal walking around the garden, clean glasses with washing up liquid, put on coat, leave the house. Bus journey, 10 minutes to tube station. Bus is crowded with people going to work and parents taking kids to pre-school, students going to college. Get off the bus and walk, with the crowd of people to the tube, stopping to wait for the lights to change crammed onto the edge of the pavement, then the first island and finally the last island. Rushing collectively to the entrance, down the steps, along the tunnel, through the gates, onto the escalator, more tunnels, down the steps onto the platform. Crowded, lots of people waiting for the Victoria line. Stand slightly over half way along, as usual, just past the train indicator. Reread the meerkat advert again. Get on the train. Standing room only. Open my book. Middle aged man opposite smiles at me. I look away. Highbury and Islington, getting off the train, he looks me in the eye and scrapes an imaginary something from his chin. This was an indication I realise. I had something on my chin. I reach up and scratch. He indicates a bit more. That's better, he says. I get off, cross the platform to change lines. Mortified. I had come so far, with an Alpen oatflake stuck to my chin. Fear I'm turning into one of those sad cases with holes in their jumpers and egg stains on their shirt fronts. Must get a mirror in the hall.