Sunday, 23 January 2011

That Inevitable Question

A handful of commuters,
On the platform,
Were waiting,

A man -
Some bloke,
Walked past me,
And up to the self-service confectionery machine,
And started making noises: huh! huh! hoohauuh! hooh-hoh!

I asked myself that inevitable question:
Should I turn around?
Should I turn around?
Do I really need to see why this man -
This bloke -
Is making these strange noises?
I decided:
No. No. I don't need to know at all why this man - this bloke - is still going,
Loudly now:
Huhoohahun! Hooah! Hooah! Huh!!
I didn't turn around.
And then,
Of course,
I did.

He was shadow-boxing;
Shadow-boxing the self-service confectionery machine.
Ah! Ha!
I thought like Mister Clever:
Those are Kung Fu-like noises he's making:
Totally harmless.

Totally harmless,
Until he started beating the shit out of it.
Then he stopped and looked up.
At me.
Our eyes locked.
And it turned (for me anyway) like one of those westerns where a man -
Some bloke -
Walks into a bar,
And the piano player stops playing,
And the barman ducks behind the bar,
And some card players look up,
And one of them says:
We don't want no trouble mister ..

So our eyes locked.
I felt a trickle of oh shit! down my neck..

He nodded at me.
I nodded back.
And, with that,
Some quite enigmatic and elusive man-to-man understanding was reached.
Thank God for that.

He went back to punching the self-service confectionery machine.

The train arrived.
And he stopped beating the self-service confectionery machine:
He obviously had somewhere important to go.
And we both got on the train.

He sat across from me,
Picked up a discarded free newspaper to read,

That probably made me ponder,
But ponder to ponder nothing much.