General

The train is late. I am left shivering on the platform with ten minutes of numbing quiet. The gentle clunk of a lipstick stained lid and her 6 am Earl Grey lands in the bin with the flick of her wrist. She looks like a Caroline. Long, soft curls and taupe boots. I pick at my hair. A rogue page of yesterday’s newspaper is chased by the wind like a pigeon with wings fluttering with feathers of rhetoric and melodrama.

The raucous, metallic shriek heralds the arrival of the decrepit carriage, standing in defiance of its condition - all corroded iron and tacky upholstery. The doors reluctantly eases open with the force of a stocky station guard, as if gripped by age, the handles stiff with arthritis. There is only one advantage of waking up at five thirty in the morning from the cacophonous chorus of squabbling birds. I am endowed with the generous elbow room and a guaranteed window seat all to myself. Settling into my self-entitled throne, I unravel a 470 calorie cream cheese and smoked salmon bagel, humble in its crumpled paper bag. Crumbs rain into the crevices of the grimy moquette fabric as I attempted to swallow the taste of regret. Should definitely have ordered that smoothie instead. The train takes a plunge, inching forward at an excruciating pace. It rocks back and forth, its relentless whining and groaning comparable to a resident of any nursing home. Saturated fat, carbs, cholesterol and hypertension - big words thrown around in last month’s Women’s Health issue.

‘Health will be the bane of your existence if you miss out on this dieting tip!’

I tuck the bagel back into its bag. The ebb and flow of movement brings me to my station. A blessing and a curse.

By 10453, August 1, 2016.