Summer Tuna

Is she seriously going to sit there on this overcrowded train, outside thirty-two degrees celsius searing summer heat, no air-conditioning to save us from roasting in this poorly-cushioned oven whilst screaming children vicariously express their inner-demon, and she thinks it’s alright to devour that mound of smelly tuna and boiled egg? And with a plastic fork!

Is there enough mayonnaise?

Sitting there, shoveling fork pile after fork pile of stinking tuna into her overarching gob. My gut is wrenching. My nose attempts to cave-in, to shield itself from the agonising stench. The gall of her to look at me, as though I’ve infringed upon her sensibilities.

I feel sorry for the little train table jutting out from the seat in front of her, there is crusty breadcrumb litter from the offensive feast. Her, onboard picnic staining the Formica laminate, crumbs attaching themselves to the polyester seat coverings and the window filling with stains from stray offshoots of tuna flakes. When did consuming a meal on a train become such an invasion of the senses?

Standing at the edge of the station platform in the correct position, waiting for the train to position itself in its correct stopping position to allow the carriage door to stop directly in front of me, has become as natural as the sun shining. Then, one day, balding and eye-glasses wearing round man barrels himself towards me, hoping to intimidate me out of my platform position. I don’t think so. I have been standing in this exact position for years and no new plank will force me to move. Recently, he has taken to stretching and moving about whilst standing next to me.

“You’re not the first business suit to attempt intimidation with your stupid acrobatics”, I thought to myself. I shot him a look to let him know I won’t be moved.

The responsibility of alighting the train first means moving swiftly into the aisle and towards the centre of the carriage to find the first available seat. Unfortunately, Summer holidays means more passengers on the 17:46 train, limiting seats. Being first to board is a blessing, but today it’s been condemnation. Yes, I am grateful I located a seat, but not next to little Miss tuna-mouth.

And now I am sprayed with tuna oil, bread crumbs and little bits of lettuce leaf. Somehow, having lettuce leaf on an egg-tuna gives it a life of sophistication. It might be served in a fancy looking box from the local, but it stinks like any other.

And now I’m stuck in this wretched seat for the next forty-five minutes, feeling the pain of being the first on board at my platform to find a seat, here. Oh, how I wish the train would derail and we could all be mixed up like a cocktail shaker, having me land in a new seat, next to, no one.

But dreams are free.

Thank goodness I have a new bottle of Daz and disinfectant at home, I’m straight for the washing machine as soon as I walk in the door.


– Malcolm.

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