stripped bare

Long story for a short day.

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I woke up with a migraine. It probably decided to join in the fun since my throat was starting to turn into sandpaper, and my nose into an exploding cannon. As expected, I went right back to bed…

As I dragged my feet and my heavy bag to the MRT station, the only thoughts in my head were to get myself a seat on the train. If I were to stand all the way to my destination I might faint. Then I doublechecked to see if I were wearing nice knickers – just in case. Walking into the train with an air of nonchalance (but actually scanning for available seats), I spotted 2 empty ones. They were adjacent seats, an army boy and an old man on either side. The moment I sat down next to the army boy I regretted it. He (together with his mate on his right) must have had an extremely tedious day. I decided against shifting to the seat next to me to save both of us the embarrassment.

Then studiously, I took out my notes to read. The army boy next to me, in between talking to his mate and checking his handphone, would steal glances turn his head entirely to look down on my notes. It is an interesting subject (Social Psychology) and in a bid to make myself seem intelligent, I let him read all he wanted since he wasn’t distracting me in any way. Until he started coughing, that is. Like an epidemic, his cough solo turned into a duet as his friend joined in, and added in some nose-blowing for effect. I would have sympathised with him if not for the fact that he continued reading my notes, and coughing, without even having the courtesy to cover his mouth. Helloo?! Germs?!

Just as I couldn’t take holding my breath anymore and decided to slide into the empty seat next to me, a plump Indian lady dropped herself into that seat unceremoniously. Just my luck, I thought. Then a whiff of coconut oil hit me. (I’d first like to cover my bases here and say that when I’m ill, my sense of smell becomes very sensitive. A man could be smoking a few metres away from me, but it would seem to me as if he’s blowing the smoke at my face.) Ok, so it may have been that the lady was using an ordinary amount of coconut oil to condition her hair. Not to me, it wasn’t. If I stood up to leave my seat right now, I think I would drop into a faint immediately. So I struggled to remain in my seat, taking deep Yoga breaths whenever it was possible.

At City Hall, there was an air of impatience as everyone waited for the train. I’m sure we all know what it’s like at train stations at 630pm. Just one stop away and I’d be free from this. When the train came whirring past, even before the doors opened, the people who were standing obediently behind the line suddenly lurched forward. What’s the point of those lines then, I ask you. Utterly pointless. So as I joined in the sardine pack, I felt a hand push me roughly on my shoulder. I wanted to turn around for a fight but I thought : Hey this pushing might just get me into the train. So I kept quiet and let those hands do the pushing.

Just as my feet and other body parts were safely squeezed into the train, the voice that belonged to those hands shouted : “Move in lah, damn fuck man everybody!” I turned around and only managed to catch a glimpse of a woman with a pierced eyebrow and a really deep voice. Not wanting to get into any trouble, I bit my lip and kept quiet. But someone else did it for me. A man, immaculately dressed even after work looked down on her (he’s tall, she’s short) and bellowed, “Everyone here wants to get into the train as much as you do. You don’t have to swear at anyone.” With a loud “Fuck you lah!”, she pushed her way into the train and the door closed. I looked at the reflection on the train door to see a casually dressed woman in her late 20s. She looked evil enough to cook her own children. I could almost see her swearing with her middle finger if not for the fact that she was holding a large bag of Breadtalk goodies.

That ride from City Hall to Dhoby Ghaut was the longest I ever had. Before the train doors could open entirely, I rushed out of it onto the escalator, my head still pounding. All that, in 45 minutes.


Written by smudgi3

March 24, 2005, Thursday at 14:00

Posted in Uncategorized

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