Thursday, September 6

Dancing Filament

I DON’T THINK I was dreaming of anything when a beautiful girl awoke me on the train. I know she was beautiful because she had been sitting next to me up until that point of the journey. Though I admit I was not paying much attention to her when she sat down – I was reading – I soon learned that she was beautiful; the bridges of her feet were flawless, and, when she turned to look at a passing towerblock, I noted that her cheeks were also perfect.
Now that I was awake, she smiled and told me that we were at C—.
‘We’re at C—. I don’t want you to miss your stop.’
Startled as I am when prematurely stirred from sleep on public transport, I smiled and said – ‘No, no, this ain’t me. Thank you anyway.’
I watched her walk off the train and I watched her walk away down the stairs out of the station, which is set above the streets on a soot-blackened bridge. And then, of course, she was gone.
It was not easy to get back to sleep. A young blonde-haired girl sat in front of me. She had put her head between the seats and was singing in my direction. I could not understand the song she was singing but she was singing it loudly and unchecked by her parents, who were individually engrossed in newspapers. I wished to shut her up. Why was she singing at me of all people? I was one of the few in the carriage with headphones in.
Regardless, on she sang.
‘W— is the next stop!’ she shouted, somewhat hastily, as if it was her job to notify people of the next stop and, getting carried away with her song, she had forgotten her one task.
I knew that W— was not the next stop.
She alighted, her parents leading her by a small hand. She had left behind a hair on the chair in front of me. In the sun it shone like a filament; in the breeze it danced to a song that she was not around to sing.
I could not sleep, but I was now very distracted by this hair that waved and danced, this hair that no wind from the open carriage windows could dislodge from the tangled fabric of the chair.

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