All Stories, General Fiction

Season Ticket to Hell by Jimmy Webb

Get me off this fucking train, this compact tube of gloom and sweat, the pungent sweat, and many eyes, those glancing eyes, the staring eyes, the locked on the grubby floor eyes and eyes that raise up praying eyes, the had enough enough enough eyes, the get me home eyes, the don’t look at me eyes, the they’re nice shoes eyes, the get me off this swaying jerking dated dirty cramped and pokey underground overground eyes – The Wombles wouldn’t fucking like it here, no, they’d take clearing litter of Wimbledon Common any day of the week, coz this is no way to live by any stretch of anyone’s reasonable fucking imagination, but these people don’t have imaginations, no, it’s sucked right out of them as soon as the doors close, then they’re morphed into slaves with phones as their masters, I don’t know how they do that without feeling sick coz my stomach’s turning, there’s a pool of saliva in my mouth, I don’t want to panic but I’m sweating and I’m thinking about chundering in this man’s rucksack coz there’s nowhere else and he’s getting on my tits with his loud talk of how she was too up for it and he wanted a challenge, if I was to be sick that’s exactly where I’d go, coz there’s  nowhere else, but maybe there is, my station has arrived, my escape route with toilets and air and space, I must hurry coz each and every blood cell in my veins race, but the screen slaves have morphed into devils with horns that nudge and grunt and weave and surge, but wait, maybe they’re not devils, maybe they’re the damned like me, desperate for salvation as they funnel out onto the concrete path to the light at the end of the funnelling hell, the path is long, the path isn’t swaying but I still am, and I know blonde lady has a stick but how fucking dare she get in the way of skater girl who holds up the suit who cuts in front of my dash to the gust of cool air at the escalator to what might as well be heaven because this pit has no mercy like what waits above – shades of green, browns, bright blues and cool shadows, the smell of freshly cut grass from the field that takes me back to hours lost with my mates and a ball, and there’s the aromas that stop me in my in my tracks and make me look at them from different angles, but they’re not for long angles coz the short walk leads to an outside train, one that rumbles overground , inside is nose to armpit but soon subsides – the air is mine again, the wheels play a calming rhythm , trees wave hello and goodbye, my eyes close, open again, wide, wider still when tattoo man sneezes, his face mask itching his moustache, and belt-for-a-skirt woman catches my eye, I notice but don’t look, she wants the look but I don’t wanna look – instead I look forward to homemade lasagne and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as the train  seems to sprint the last leg, it spins a flip a skip a trip to home where my much better half Tee told me to take an umbrella because of the rain, she always checks, she always knows, always reads between the lines – she knew the time that I’d stop spinning and slow to a jolt, she sees me looking out the window and knows my smile is real, not just one of those hello smiles, no, it’s one that knows that the tiny feet and hands and face that shouts Daddy at me when I mind the gap will clamber into my arms and want me to pretend to drop him because he loves the buzz, and I won’t do goo goo gaa gaas, there’ll be real talk coz he’s a human who doesn’t need coffee and screen-masters and ciggies and booze coz he’s high on life, he’s high on love and laughter and learning and making  vroom vroom noises in the car, the car that will protect me from the rain because Tee knows I forgot the umbrella – and when the wheels roll along and spray I know there’s a tomorrow, the same again, but at least for now in this small reasonably priced hybrid, with a small hand in mine I have a small moment where everything and nothing matters.

Jimmy Webb

Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay 

11 thoughts on “Season Ticket to Hell by Jimmy Webb”

  1. Absolutely loved this – the stream of consciousness is well judged and well handled as is the transition from the claustrophobia of the tube to the little hand in his … Excellent!


  2. Hi Jimmy,
    The anger and observation on the train was brilliantly done.
    Hope you have more for us very soon.
    All the very best my friend.


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