The Reception Committee

The space was full of humanity, moving in several directions at once, all action and intent. Most of the people came from the barriers, waiting for the little gates to open, as their tickets were accepted by the machine or returned to them for subsequent journeys, and at this opening they popped out, in a series of ones in the direction of the world outside the waiting area. Others, however, waited in queues to buy tickets for the train – for this was a train station – or milled around, often in the way, especially in the way of the streaming individuals released by the barriers, as they looked at timetables and noticeboards and attempted to make some sense of what they were looking at while not getting knocked down and run over.

The barrier gates opened and closed, both movements punctuated by a jerky plastic crash, and platform announcements could be heard layered above the general hubbub of chatter and insult and groan. The to and fro of humanity continued. Colours shifted and changed. If you squinted, it was a very slow sort of blur. To see the blur you needed to be on the other side of the station entrance. And if you stood there, on the other side of the railway station entrance, with eyes unsquinted, you could just make out a woman of indeterminate years wrangling some sort of creature in a dark corner, at the back, just out of the way of the multidirectional multitudes. She was wearing a sun hat with a band of entwined flowers, and on the end of her leash was a little dog. The dog wore a little pink coat against the chill of the late Autumn afternoon, also with a petal design sewn onto it, and she was scouring the crowd for the guest whom she and Mummy had come to welcome from the train. And getting a little bit excited as she sniffed and wagged and tugged at the leash.

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Published in: on June 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

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