Friday, September 10, 2010

I encountered a woman at the entrance to the Glasgow tube. She was trying urgently to connect with someone on her mobile phone.
Something was distressing her; I couldn't tell what it was.
And there was nothing I could do.
I bought my ticket and went on to the platform, just as the train was leaving.
The same young woman came down after me, and we stood together on the empty platform.
It didn't matter much to me, missing the train: but it caused her huge distress.
She was still talking down the phone as we walked straight past me, right down the far end of the platform.
Expecting no help. Seeking solitude.
But she was speaking loudly down the phone, full of anxiety and fear. Something happening in Govan. Someone barricaded into a house. Threatening to "pop" people. Armed police everywhere.
Her child was somehow involved.

The train came in, I made sure I was sitting in a different carriage.
This lonely fear and distress was just too much to bear.

I wonder what's happened to us, to make us so lonely.
To make us so incapable of asking for help from each other.
To make us so incapable of giing it.

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