The streets never stop with the hustle and bustle, horns honk, black taxis dart and Double Decker buses block their way. I cough; the discomfort I get from sucking in the fumes expelled from these travelling menaces. I run to jump on board the moving platform then shuffle with the crowd to obtain my place. Holding firmly to the pole I show my travel card, my right to ride, the conductor has a job to do.
I watch the world pass me by, familiar sights on a regular journey, but I never stop to venture. My first port of call, I pull the cord and the driver stops to let me and several others off. I step to the gutter as leaves swirl about my ankles. Disconnected, they fall free to circle our feet, then thrust into a dark corner of a building to be pinned by the same force that removed them from their stable home. I pass the collection of leaves and round the corner of the building, my next port of call is here.
I enter the tube station, the wind again swirling, not with leaves but the dead skin of human. The waiting, reading a book, chatting with friends or the alone of being solo, then the signs begin to show. The tunnel slowly comes to life, a low howl, screeching on the lines and the wind arises from within. It pushes along from tunnel to tunnel, releasing at each platform like an old man settling into his favourite armchair.
With blackened walls and discarded rubbish between the tracks, the dead skin cells start to rise. This readiness is of the abrupt entrance taken by the train that seemingly hurtles along the tracks, screeches gently and stops at the point specified, then Mind the Gap” as we bustle to enter the cabin. Seated or standing, no eye contact, no conversation, we all look at the floor. “The Doors Are Closing” Then with the whirring noise of the electric motor we are shunted back in our seats as the world then rushes by.
Darkness at first with only flashes of light, swaying in my seat with the motion of the cabin. On exiting the tunnel I see daylight, concrete walls littered with graffiti, as I near the end of my journey. With trees in a blur, the roofs of houses buzz past, the tracks are raised for the lives of others to continue below like ants in a nest, as we slow to enter the station, Mind the Gap” and I disembark from my journey. I show my travel card, my ride is over.
At the bottom of the stairs I turn right, a short stroll along the street and across the car lot, past the elevator as it always smells of urine, and I climb the two flights of stairs, quick left and my blue door stands tall, this is home, for now.