MIND THE GAP: RAT RACE

It’s Monday… I’ve had an amazing weekend, I managed not to leave my neighbourhood, doing local stuff keeps me sane, brings back my serenity, makes me think that I’m not crazy, that’s why I love my borough, that’s why I love walking around, ordering food to be delivered to my house, inviting my friends to go out where I live, asking them to move to this area, so I’ll never have to use the tube again… unfortunately it’s Monday, the dream it’s over… I put my war paint on, prepare my most scary face and pray to start the week in a good mood. I leave my house, walk to the station and here we go… hell is waiting for me! 

If you’ve never used the London underground before let’s begin with the basic rule, never ever look anyone in the eye, as in ancient Greek mythology if you ever break this rule, you’ll be turn into stone or worst, after a second you might feel push to talk to this person, otherwise why would you have dared to establish visual contact. Which leads me to basic rule number 2, never, you never talk to anyone on the tube, why would you that? Who are you? Mother Theresa? Someone from an small town who thinks that’s going to make friends while commuting? A foreigner who just moved to London and thinks this is his/her country? Oh, dear! You’ve seen nothing just yet! 

Again, you happy commuter who walks slowly right in front of me as if this was an episode from “Little House on the Prairie”, I’m in a rush, I might have over slept, had a quickie with my partner before leaving, the thing is that you’re on my way, don’t make me push you to then have to say “Sorry” as if I actually mean it, don’t make me breath heavily so you can get how annoyed I’m, don’t make me turn into Hulk because I’m getting so close to it. 

I should be happy, commuting in this city is full of adventure, I don’t need to look for risky sports or ways to kick my adrenaline, when you push me on the platform or in the carriage, you wake up my inner “Doctor Jekyll” and I swear to god that I could kill you, but no, I’m thankful, I’m thankful to this public transport system that allows me to meet all sorts of people every morning. We got the make-up tutorials, just for free you get to watch at least three ladies in a row fighting the carriage movement with firm pulse while creating the perfect cat eye effect, “Ugly Betty” jumps on the tube, a Kardashian sister arrives at destination.  

The tube is a multipurpose space, one day is Harrods’s changing rooms, did I really need to see you in your underwear? Probably not, but thanks for that! . Following day is “ Fight Club”, bets welcome, no rules, you are fighting for being on time to work, you are fighting for keeping the tiny spot where you are standing, you are fighting for the last breath of fresh air, so we don’t care if you are an old lady, pregnant woman or child, you don’t get a sit, you might be slapped, but again, it’s all good, it’s part of life, you need to learn the tough way. 

When you think it can’t be worst, someone jumps on the train spreading a “lovely smell”, you’re short, he is tall, you feel you’re about to drown as if this was the Titanic. You wonder how someone who wears such expensive clothes smells as if he was living in a dumpster. You try to be subtle turning your back, at least that will save you from his bad breath, still you can feel him, so close, so sweaty, so disgusting, so filthy rich but without any water in his house, you feel sorry and think about offering him some mints, deodorant, perfume, as you if you were one of those ladies working on nightclubs that remind people that smelling good it’s important as is washing yourself.  

You’re about to make it, but the train stops, apparently someone felt unwell, “Great, another suicide!”, you’re definitely going to be late, but it’s fine, because the smelly guy now it’s a bit further, you get to keep watching for a bit longer the make-up tutorials and you get to tell your boss a real excuse, “Sorry, got stuck on the tube”. It’s all good. 

While making your way outside the carriage, you feel thankful to be alive, to hear that voice asking to “Mind the gap”, that sound that reminds you that it’s just eight hours before you have to think about this again, but you always do, you always think about it, again.

 

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