Friday, March 10, 2006


Rising ire

Bzzz... the doors slide shut on the train and I am suddenly conscious of someone making to sit down next to me. I do the obligatory shuffling-up thing that everyone always does, even though I am perfectly well contained within the one seat, but still the person does not sit down.

Glancing up for the first time I realise it is the stalker and I cannot decide if my internal noise is more along the lines of a scream or a sigh, because she sent me a bunch of mail at the weekend and I answered none of it. This is clearly her revenge or an extra kick in the spiritual groin from a non-existent God who is almightily angry at me for my continual denial of his existence. Either way I remove my earphones and tell her, yes, she can sit down there if she really wants to (but I would rather she jumped out the window, this latter to myself obviously.)

Her eyes widen as she looks at my cast and she asks the inevitable question and I can see the fragments of a smashed picture frame scurrying back together on the stark wooden floor of delusion that is her mind and forming themselves into the idea that maybe, just maybe, I didn't answer any of her messages because I'd met with a grisly accident.

I tell her about the football and instantly curse myself for not claiming that I injured myself deleting e-mails with the wrong hand.

I ask where she is going, she says Takatsuki, which surely would have been quicker on the Hankyu line, so I smell a rat, even if its face and behaviour are more akin to that of a stunned chipmunk, but we ride on in silence, she unable to find any pretext for initiating talk and I too weary even to bother pushing her out of her chair and shouting that it isn't my baby in badly-accented Japanese.

My manners desert me and I put my earphones back in. Instant tapping on my arm. I take the earphones out and she asks me what I'm listening. Another footnote in the book of grudges.

The train draws near Hirakata and she makes a show of suddenly remembering something. She opens the back and tells me, oh, this is gift...

I tell her to stick it in her ear and the look on her face tells me I just kicked over her sandcastle.


She's back at Hirakata the next day with her Sempai and I need to grow some wings or change my name.

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