Alice Flowers

The smaller man was standing with a bunch of flowers in his hand, a sort of tea rose with variegated petals which looked a bit like the white roses painted red in Alice In Wonderland, or so he and his sweetheart had agreed when he had brought them home for her before. Actually these were pink and white, not red and white, but the idea was the same, and his sweetheart did love pink.
He wasn’t thinking about much beyond how to get the price ticket off the plastic around the bouquet and wondering when the train would come and he must have thought briefly about work or his walk to the station, which he varied for a bit of fun that day, because he was a lame person who derived enjoyment from pathetic and small things which might not entertain even the dullest hominid.
A train departed, he couldn’t catch that one as it didn’t go to his stop, and so he let it go. And the next one arrived, a train with many seats in its front carriage (he rode at the front despite the danger inherent in doing so, not because it was dangerous or risky but because he was a creature of habit and there were usually fewer passengers at the front) – so he moved towards the doorway as it eased into the platform.
Strangely he found himself in front of some of the commuters who had gathered nearby to where the doors of the front carriage open, and deciding that although this accident had occurred it was better to just get on first and get out of people’s way. It can be worse to apologise and backtrack and allow people to change places with you sometimes, especially when you are holding a bunch of pink Alice flowers – there was a chance he might hit someone with them or the flowers themselves might be damaged. He got on, at the same time as a gentleman of generous proportions got on and they found themselves at the up stairway at the same time, and he decided that he should again go ahead, and get out of the way by using that tactic, but he got a heavy bump – let’s call it a bump – as he commenced walking. It was the bigger man, pushing, pushing quite hard in fact, so he kept going, tried to skip ahead, for turning around wasn’t an option in the confined space with Alice flowers, and he suspected he had actually done something slightly wrong – albeit inadvertently – but he was just trying to make the best of the situation. But he couldn’t skip ahead, as the unathletic individual pulled back on his bag, arresting his progress, not enough to stop him, but he became slowed and at the top of the stairs he saw a two seater seat free and immediately decided to leave it, for the grossly endowed mad man was on his heels, he felt a kick or two actually, and he decided that that this outraged personage might like that seat to himself, so he kept walking and sat down in a three seater seat, and as he sat he realised the other man was right next to him. He wondered if the other person would somehow be sitting underneath him, in his seat, as he lowered his posterior, but no, the man was just sitting next to him.
So he balanced his flowers and got out his Wuthering Heights book and began reading as if nothing untoward had occurred, as if he were a perfect member of the public, and he knew he usually was, and had made one very small error of judgement, just this one time, and it was an anxious minute or so until the words on the page filled his head, and perhaps the big man saw that he was reading and was not a trouble causer, and perhaps he compared the experience of sitting near a person who had pushed in front a little bit with that of sitting near five sweaty fourteen year-old boys who got on after their basketball training and promptly filled the carriage with conversational sound about basketball – and he decided not to kill the smaller man, and he decided to move away, as there was so much room on the carriage that he could choose another place to sit at this late stage.
And the smaller man noticed that both Emily Brontë and Mary Shelley use the word “dote” a lot, and then he started dozing off, for it had been a long and trying day.

Published in: on April 1, 2014 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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