It’s hard to look back. I now realise near midnight recollecting the face you never showed me it to engrossed in Instagrams glare. I’m bleary, deciding to Mobb Deep, not podcast as an familiar unknown middle age white lady stares me down. I must be occupying her place. She’s unaware of my staff badge, my shirt and tie hidden by my threatening winter coat.
You two couldn’t be farther apart, together on the crampt carriage East. Your trousers yawn a permanent gape, exposing what I hope are sports shorts. You hair has a crispy sheen, unevenly wetted locks and relaxed tufts taming what was never wild.
But your neighbour’s a combed coiffed quiff, an Essex swirl, the kinda pompous pompadour you see in cafe’s, fairly highly priced for a coffee ceded in an unfair trade. He’s out the window, with eyes following all absent from us; must be nice; while my nearing obnoxious eye never see yours, still fixed in your iPhone glow. To him we’ve all melted away, as if his dream pursues the tram. On mass we unperturbed by the black buzz cut grandma no one offered a seat.
I’m drawn back to you with a fond aversion. I lament the shirt that’s a bit yellow from Thursday’s turn, pristine Nike hoody, Blazer latticed with scratches and from stints as a goal post, black Air Force school shoes matching the hood and skin. Sir Attenborough taught me when you’re bottom you’re barely surviving.
My eye lingers on, saving data, living outside. You grin, your head lifted and drifting to the side. You touch his arm and he looks at your iPhone, you both look, laugh, look again, laugh again. He looks back out the window and you back to your glow. I’m sorry.