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The Underground

4 December 2000
James has a bad day.

It's the second time I've collapsed on the Tube today. All this must be fucking my head up something chronic. I've been having really vivid dreams recently. I manage to put them out of my mind for a minute while I try to concentrate on the task at hand. For some reason it's hard to focus on any one thing for any period of time today. It's probably because the station signs whizz past the window too fast to read them, so I don't really know where I am. And every time the train stops, the guard-change of commuters swarms past, obscuring my view of the signs outside. If only I was a bit taller, or could stand on a box of something.

At the next stop-change, I manage to work my way past shoulders to the doors. At least this way, I can step out at the next station and see where I am. The train slows and I shut my eyes in relief. When I open them and the train has stopped, I see my face is pressed inches from a giant woman's bikini-clad crotch. After the shock, instant erection and sudden sweat have stabilised, I realise I'm on the wrong side of the train for the platform, and she's just an ad for holidays in foreign parts. My head swims and I black out.

A couple are standing over me, I think I recognise the woman. I definitely fancy her. I get up and am standing on the platform, thanking them for their help, and I'm feeling much better. I can't help it but find myself staring at her cleavage, and get another hard-on. I think she notices. Eventually, their train arrives, and I wave goodbye to the helpful couple as they pull away. Just as they disappear from view, I see her head tip back in laughter. It makes me want to laugh too, even though I didn't hear the joke. I feel one of those warm Tube-drafts, watch a couple of mice scuttle between the tracks, and it takes another second for me to realise. I'm totally naked. Cock cooling in the tunnel breeze, and those bastards have stolen my clothes. Now I can hear the joke. The anger distils into a deep aching panic, as I see the family at the other end of the platform. I could get done. I dash through the winding passages, try to find a refuge, but round every corner is another passer-by who just stands and looks surprised. I run and run and run. Finally I crouch in a small alcove at the end of a platform - I'm not sure which - and wait for the rush hours to pass.

Finally I crawl out, and am so thankful to the forgetful bastard that left his coat on the bench on the platform. Idiot. I actually cry. Moving on, and wearing only this, I board the next train to go home. No way I'm going to work like this. The carriage is nearly empty, and I have two seats to myself. Just as I relax, I see the floor is coming towards me faster. I understand why, and pass out again.

It's the second time I've collapsed on the Tube today. All this must be fucking my head up something chronic. I've been having really vivid dreams recently. I'm waiting in the crowd waiting to get home standing naked underneath my new coat at on outside, overground platform. I feel relieved, I can finally make those calls when I get there. I smile and look around. I see a friendly familiar face through the crowd up the platform. She doesn't see me, but it's been ages since we chatted, so, I forget what state I'm in and work my way through the crowd towards her. I lose sight of her, but press on.

Squeezing through two overweight tourists, the coat is pulled apart and open, and I hang out, displayed. The rush of embarrassment makes me decide that the best way up is along the yellow line at the edge of the platform. It is indeed easy going, until a strong gust of wind blows up the coat, Marilyn Monroe style, in front of everyone on the curved platform. It's been more trouble than its worth, this coat. One fat hairy guy sees and takes offence, shouting disgusting freakery at me. I try to reason with him, but he shouts louder and louder until he shoves me off the platform and down.

And I fall, slowly at first. I try, successfully, to avoid the electrified rail, but in doing so, crash and slide between the elevated tracks and fall onward. I hope there's a car or something underneath, because they're less punishing than cold concrete. A meteoric fall, because meteors only ever fall, never rise. Perhaps when people make that mistake, they're being ironic. I fall, and think Jesus, today has been a complete nightmare.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
16 October 2003. James writes: Jakesy's School of Urban Driving
24 September 2003. James writes: Chapter One
4 September 2003. James writes: The Silicon Soul
14 August 2003. James writes: A Room With 100 Seats
24 July 2003. James writes: English For Beginners
3 July 2003. James writes: Coldplay are crap. Discuss.
9 June 2003. James writes: It Takes All Sorts
22 May 2003. James writes: Lesson 2: Buying his Gran for a tenner
1 May 2003. James writes: Rosencrantz and Leytonstone
10 April 2003. James writes: Character Building
20 March 2003. James writes: So This Is It. What Are We Going To Do About It?
27 February 2003. James writes: Street Level Zero
6 February 2003. James writes: Reference: James Noteworthy
16 January 2003. James writes: Kissing George Clooney for just £99!
26 December 2002. James writes: Hongkong In Four Tableaux
5 December 2002. James writes: We Are Your Idea
14 November 2002. James writes: The Knight Of Spring Fervent
24 October 2002. James writes: Go On, Be Honest
7 October 2002. James writes: Cold Comfort
12 September 2002. James writes: Peas In A Pod
22 August 2002. James writes: Seed Investment
1 August 2002. James writes: We Are QPR
11 July 2002. James writes: The Road to Ossuna
20 June 2002. James writes: Pret A Teleporter
27 May 2002. James writes: A Play On Words
2 May 2002. James writes: Labour Saving Device
8 April 2002. James writes: Beggaring Belief
14 March 2002. James writes: Small Things
18 February 2002. James writes: Drop Dead Letters
24 January 2002. James writes: High-Rise Rhapsody
27 December 2001. James writes: My drift's too hip to resist.
6 December 2001. James writes: My Lord Has No Nose
12 November 2001. James writes: A Job For Life
18 October 2001. James writes: Which is the cleverest animal?
24 September 2001. James writes: Interview With An Automatum
30 August 2001. James writes: Each To Their Own
6 August 2001. James writes: An Escape, In Sonata Form
12 July 2001. James writes: Truckloads Of Goodies
18 June 2001. James writes: There's No Such Thing As A Coincidence
24 May 2001. James writes: It's All True - The Paper Says So
30 April 2001. James writes: A Letter From Prisyn
16 April 2001. James writes: I Quit
15 March 2001. James writes: An Essay In Procrastination
15 February 2001. James writes: Confessions Of An English Sand-Eater
22 January 2001. James writes: The Future And The Pasta
28 December 2000. James writes: Never drink with men in red
4 December 2000. James writes: The Underground
9 November 2000. James writes: Right answer. Wrong answer
16 October 2000. James writes: The March of Proudfoot: Part I
21 September 2000. James writes: You haven't got a chance
28 August 2000. James writes: Bad, man. Wicked
24 July 2000. James writes: I play games with street lamps

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