I wear eyeliner.
I make no apologies for that, but when it results in me getting forcibly removed from a stationary train…I start to get a little pissy.
For some reason I often get mistaken for a hair dresser, even the girls that have been doing my nails for the past few months still think that, even though I have corrected them on many an occasion. Comments about how my eyes are tired from staring at a computer screen all day, how I adore their hand massages because as a ‘writer’ my wrists feel constantly strained (and this is not due to being a chronic self pleasure as some might allude to…). I’ve even bought in published articles I’ve written from reputable magazines and asked if I could leave them in the waiting room for their other clients to enjoy (to this day they have denied my constant requests).
One might be wondering at this point what this has to do with another tale of my woe? I’m on my way there. I bought my train ticket at the window (I like to think that somehow this small gesture keeps someone employed – and gives me brownie points in hell). The transaction apparently went smoothly, that is until the ticket man told me how much I reminded him of his wife. She was a bitch and she was also dead. (I’m now a big advocate of ticket machines at train stations).
I ventured to platform 12, as directed, purchased a newspaper, tossed the sports section, and hopped in what I failed to notice was a stationary train. After about 10 minutes of being stared at by a small blonde man who blessed me under his breath every time I tried to avoid eye-contact with him, I got up to find out what was going on and dreaming of the day I’d have my own personal driver, who with the slap of a glove I could fire for such insubordinance…when suddenly I was confronted by a woman who bore a striking resemblance to a brick wall – the kind kids bounce tennis balls against, or as a high school kid you pashed behind. Her name was Sarah, though when we were at high school together, she was referred to as ‘the terror’.
Rumour had it, that upon graduation she had tried to flee to New Zealand to shack up with some guy she’d met on the Internet. She’d run into strife when, while going through the metal detector she got a little worked up and was aggressively subjected to a cavity searched to make sure she wasn’t carrying a bomb. She would later recall the incident as the only time she’d ever needed help cuming. I was a little scared of her, and to top it all up she was a certified ticket inspector.
‘Well, well – if it isn’t Louie Da Fly’ she rumbled.
‘Barely recognised you for a minute, but then I watched you for a while through that window and then it was just like I knew it was you, cos I had this dream about you once and you were in it and your hair was really short – so that’s how I recognised you cos you looked like that girl in my dream, but she was proper tall and you’re not that tall are you?’
Supposing it was a rhetorical question I chose not to answer. Instead I smiled politely, and tried to get off the train –’Look it’s really nice to see you again Sarah – do you know what’s happening with the trains?’
The storm came suddenly, without warning – ‘What? Aren’t you even going to ask me how I’ve been? What I’ve been up to? Is this what happens when you get famous all of a sudden?’ (So sudden – I was caught completely unawares…)
‘You heard me! Someone told me you’d become one of those celebrity hairdressers, so I Googled you and there you were and I found your blog…ooh, so now you’re published…but I read it, not my cup of tea if I’m honest, but I thought I’d at least be in there somewhere – but it’s like you’ve forgotten me – why? Are you too busy with all your famous friends and their famous people parties? (I’m going to point out at this point that I was running late for a meeting at an employment agency…)
Trying to ease the tension, I went for humour ‘I’m more of a stay at home with a DVD type gal.’
‘You’re not funny,’ spat back Sarah.
I hung my head ‘I know.’
A few seconds passed with neither of us saying a word.
‘You wear eyeliner’, she stated.
‘Yes, yes I do.’
‘I’m rubbish at it. Eyeliner that is.’
The door was only inches away….
‘It’s pretty easy, practice really.’
‘Teach me’ she asked,
‘Um, I really have to go.’ I responded, like a coward.
‘No, I’ve got a break coming up, we could go to the girls bathroom and –’she was insistent.
My discomfort was growing. ’I really must go Sarah, if you’ll just let me-‘ ’-oh now you’re in a hurry – you were sitting on a stationary train a few minutes ago and didn’t seem in a hurry.’ (damn Connex!)
‘Listen Sarah, I’m getting the impression and correct me if I’m wrong – that you think we have some sort of friendship that I’m obligated to rekindle – well my recollection is of a girl who smeared dog faeces on my locker – in short Sarah from what I recall you are no friend of mine!’
She said nothing for a moment. I imaged for a second that she might step back, nod her head and let me get on with my life – I was wrong.
‘Can I see your ticket?’ flipping out her official ID.
‘Is there a problem? – If you can’t produce a ticket madam I’m going to have to escort you off the train.’
Ok – so she wasn’t taking my little outburst as well as I’d hoped. Searching my handbag, I began to panic, when suddenly I spotted the ticket at my feet. As I bent down to pick it up, I felt a clammy hand take my arm and start to forcibly remove me from the train.
‘I’m sorry, but failure to produce a ticket when asked is an immediate on the spot fine of $180.00’ – I swear she was grinning.
I looked at the little blonde man with pleading eyes, needing his help, to look within himself – to acknowledge that while he’d been mentally undressing me he’d remember seeing my ticket drop from my bag to the ground. Both myself and Sarah stopped for a moment as he cocked his head, opened his mouth and proclaimed – ‘Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?…Don’t yah!’