by Michael Conley
I am on a real train trying to build a metaphorical wall. The trouble with metaphorical walls is that other people don’t respect them the way they are forced to respect real walls.
I booked a table seat. The couple opposite are looking at a copy of The Mail On Sunday, its pages spread out all over the table. I rest the spine of my novel against the edge of the table. He prods an article, tuts and shakes his head. We’re living in a nanny state, he asserts. Go on, he says to her, read that and tell me we’re not living in a nanny state.
She doesn’t tell him we’re not living in a nanny state.
There are other seats available but I’m not moving. Those ones are not table seats and I booked a table seat.
Her crisps are deafening. She finishes the article and tuts through sharp fragments of potato. He’s eating a ham baguette he got from the buffet car. The crumbs are going all over our table.
I maintain a neutral expression as I metaphorically drop my trousers and do a metaphorical piss all over their Mail On Sunday and her crisps and his ham baguette, and there is an exquisite moment of horrified realisation on their faces; the last thing I see before a metaphorical conductor tackles me to the ground and metaphorically throws me off at the next platform, miles from home.
Michael Conley is a poet from Manchester who occasionally writes flash fiction too.