Wednesday, September 12

Birdshit / The Couple

I FELT SOMETHING land on my hand. It was birdshit. The worst thing you can do when you’ve been shat on is look up, so I moved to the side, near a station column, and cleaned it off with a snotty tissue that had dried. I cursed my luck and took some more steps toward the ticket gate. It was then I noticed that more shit, white, thick & viscous, was dripped the whole length of my right thigh. Angry, I stormed down the platform with crowds walking toward me. I did not care that they saw the shit. I felt filthy. The small toilet cubicle stank. It was dark, the bulb offered little, the air hadn’t changed in months, disinfectant, piss, vomit, illegible graffitti. I wiped the shit off my thigh but it was stained white. I went to wash my hands; the tap was broken; nothing came out. ‘You fucking cunt,’ I said and got out my water bottle. My hands were already lathered in soap, everything slipped from my grip. When I was as clean as I could get, I emerged and took my seat. It was Monday evening.
The couple was there – I correct myself: half the couple was there. He sat in his usual seat, which he always secures most punctually. Lost in the absentmindedness that perpetuates the trains home, he was reading a free newspaper. A pile made up of his wallet, train-pass and a light overcoat reserved the seat next to him. She would arrive soon.
They always get my train. I am used to them now. They are characters and so I forgive them for more than I should; after all, many people on that damn vehicle blend into one and I fail to separate them. The couple is a he and a she, and there is a me, watching them, studying them. In my prolonged loneliness I am able to cast my eye at couples and think what I may. I am condemning and precisely envious. If I am not envious of their contentedness, then I am envious of their simplicity or their good looks or the way their eyes just look out at the scenery with nothing behind them, glazed over, dying once and dying all over again, too bored to put up a fight, too sleepy to notice me.
She turns up with the sort of entrance on to public transport that only a few women are theatric enough to perform. ‘Sorry! Sorry!’ She wiggles down the aisle, avoiding shoulders and the outstretched legs of some of my taller fellow passengers. He moves the small pile of his wallet, train-pass and a light overcoat so that she can sit down.
They talk loudly, especially her; small trifles that occupy her mind and her life. She announces their squabbles publicly, to the whole carriage – ‘Why were you so rude to me this weekend?’ I do not hear his response. He is calm and quiet. ‘You really upset me!’ She has a few spots but nothing major. ‘I’m not stupid!’ she argues loudly, but, for all her mundane coarseness, it is a good and sexy voice.
Her blonde hair is naturally straight, falling in lines, with a precise fringe.
He is the proud owner of an immaculate crew-cut.
There are two relationships I imagine this couple in:
The first is a relationship like everyone else’s on the train. It will last for years because it is built on nothing and it is made of nothing. How can it be that nothing can end because it is not there to end? So theirs will not end. They will talk about nothing. They will never enjoy sex. They will bear boring children who will want to be bankers in the city. Dust won’t even entertain lying on their furniture.
Then there is the other relationship I imagine the couple in. It is almost exactly the same as the first, except that they have amazing sex. It is only this ridiculously mindblowing fornication that keeps them together. She will never love him truly because he is quite dead inside and perhaps deaf in one ear. He will never love her because she moans and has no concept of Everything Else. I first suspected that they had mindblowing sex when I heard her inane conversation; no man would put up with that without her being incredible in bed.
Of course, I saw her when she went to sit down. Her good bum sucked in the thin fabric of her trousers. The way she leant the bum over, getting into her seat. I sit there and think of it. She wails when he sticks it in her arse because that’s how she comes hardest. His semen is pushed out of a constricting orifice. They pant. She is ready to go again while he’s still leaking out of her. She summons it out of him. She just goes and goes and wields his prick the same way a wave wields water.
I don’t know why. That all just came to me as I sat there with birdshit on my thigh, looking like toothpaste.
They kiss noisily, feet in wet mud.
I see a black cat stood in the ruins of a demolished building. I am startled by the black cat in the ruins of a demolished building; it does not move. The man stands up and gets off the train. She is alone, waving through the window.

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