The hurried back and forth of the waistcoated clutching sachets of brown sugar; therein lies the difference between the carriages. The refreshments cart ran over my foot, and the refrigerated orange juice wobbled with intense discomposure. The cart’s advocate, a picture of domination and rippling viscose, pushed the door’s entrance button with her buttocks and shuffled backwards into the glacial atmosphere of first class. A wave of air conditioning washed over the clustered hooligans in the end portion, before the door promptly closed, rubber securing the divide between bare arms touching other bare arms, hairs intertwined; and the singularity of the evenly-spaced champagne recipients.

I mentally discussed with my manager my medical requirement to chew gum, my facial expression twisting in accordance with my various contemplative responses. The business man stood opposite me pulled at his collar as a bead of sweat absorbed into his pink and off-white pinstripes. He had made a distinct effort with his attire today.

I just can’t bear to hear myself breathe, is all.

All of a sudden the fire was upon us, and upon this realisation, it was as though it always had been. There was comfort in intense heat, skin blistering beneath flame, a form of apathetic acceptance; succour in inevitability. The heat of the day had made us lazy, and the burn of the fire sparked only vague interest in life. Through melting glass it appeared as though the world outside was burning too. We passed my stop with ceaseless pace and before they had exploded, the eyes of my pink shirted companion revealed a depth of understanding that would not be matched down the length of the train. First class would not experience such end of life companionship, I pitied them. I savoured the last taste of bubblegum and mint before all banal life was evaporated, a curious turn of events.


2 thoughts on “Routine

  1. So fine, your writing is so fine. “I just can’t bear to hear myself breathe, is all.”
    I just can’t bear for the room to have to put up with the sight of me.
    The world needs more of you, Anna.


  2. Pink and off-white pinstripes is a distinct effort indeed! He was probably the only one appropriately dressed for the occasion, but I came dangerously close to mistaking him for a stick of gum.


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