My Train Journey Home
Me: That burger smells amazing.
Man on train: Oh it is – I’ve earnt it though. I ran a marathon today – in this rain! 26 miles man. Quite the day.
Me: Wow. That’s so impressive. Did you get a medal? Was it, like a proper event?
Man on train: No. Just me on my tod. Planned a route and off I went.
Me: You ran for fun? With no reward?
Man on train: (bemused) What were you doing in London today?
Me: I went to a writing festival in Holborn.
Man on train: Um so what, you were writing…. For fun? (smiling) With no reward?
Me: (quietly) This afternoon blew my mind actually. I saw some phenomenal poets share their work and together we wove words into wonderful webs, exploring how words can contain but also change our memories. (starting to gesture excitedly) The language of flowers flowed around the Conway Hall library like the slipstream of a worker bee. (talking more quickly) Pens gyrated as confidence swelled and it was like being in the wedding scene of Love, Actually as poets kept standing and offering their music to the room.
Man on train: Huh (pause) I ran past Conway Hall today. Beautiful.
Me: It is beautiful, right?
Man on train: Near Holborn Library.
Me: Yes! I was there today too. I went to see avocados growing in bottles.
Man on train: Huh.
They ball up the wrapper of their burger and tuck it into a paper bag and squash it all into a ball.
Me: This morning I made a fanzine.
Man on train: (deep breath) Oh right. What’s that then?
Me: Well – so interesting! They were like this super powerful communication tool in the ‘60s for revolutionaries and massive in the punk scene too. They’re like pocket-sized magazines that anyone can make to express what they believe in. You make them fast. You embrace imperfection and you play like a kid with stickers and glue and stamps.
Man on train: So (smiling) .. quite the day then.
Me: (quiet again) Yes. Quite the day.
Photograph of Conway Hall by Nicky Cassidy