Wednesday, November 03, 2004


At first, I thought this:

Four more? Unbelievable. I knew this would happen. Up and down the platform I muttered to myself: murder, murder, I could murder someone. That businessman flicking past the pink pages of his paper - he'd do. The half-stoned student buying sweets from a machine - him perhaps. The man in the blue uniform lazing by the dirty wall - anyone. All these unfazed others, casually waiting like me on this grey platform of dull light, for a machine to hurtle out from the black tunnel, slow for a few arbitrary exits and entries, then hurtle on unchanged. Why aren't they, like me, hopping mad?

Murder, murder: a four minute wait at this time in the morning? Unbelievable. Of course those thoughts go nowhere in the stuffed carriage of strangers that eventually arrives. Stupid to feel all that, when we are all here collected under the same artificial light, swung along with the same bumps, our lungs sifting the same dirt, all late, late, late; but all with a hidden faith in getting there. The train sweeps in and out.

Then looking around on the train, I thought this:

All the millions underground: each of us have that power in us, to go mad, pull a lever, shout; any one of us could step off a platform, jump under a train, push a stranger. Of course, we all judge ourselves safe, there on the tube, with a hidden faith in strangers. And what good to do it? The power to take action is not the power to make consequence, and as the train speeds into the inevitable darkness, whose hand will deliver good things, whose distribute bad stuffs, is unknowable. Someone folds up a newspaper with a fatalistic headline. And as the future speeds on after a brief wait at a platform, like a train into a tunnel, who knows what murder or marvel nests in each coming moment, minute, year, set of four years.