Archive for July, 2015

July 26th 2015

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Strike…

“Two more trains, and that’s it, everyone!” the gentleman with the wireless microphone and a Northern accent warned the six-deep crowd around the carriage doors.
Scanning the faces in the densely occupied space in the isles just inside the doors, he found ingredients of this hot soup of a day in London: office workers, men in smart shirts that look nowhere as crisp-ironed as they would’ve been in the morning, and women in light cotton suits and elegant summer dresses.
A chap in his late thirties ran his fingers through his thick black hair, perhaps hoping to ventilate his head.
Next to him stood a young lady, in a cute dark pink dress that managed to combine summer with formal.
At the next influx of new passengers, the two were pushed further into their respective personal space. While she weathered the unexpected intimacy with this stranger, he used his strength to create a tiny gap, allowing her some breathing space.
At the next stop, he had to alight.
Gingerly, he attempted that mix of a smile and a grin that strangers do to one another, when neither is sure of how a full-facial flourish of parted lips and tiny wrinkles around the eyes would be received by the other.
For a nanosecond, his uncertainty seemed to be well-placed; she held his gaze for a while. But as he began to extract himself from the tightly-packed group, she enveloped him in that joyous energy that comes not so much from a smiling face, but from a smiling being.
They kept their embrace of eyes and souls, as the train screeched away.
When he reached the platform exit, he couldn’t help but glance back at the dimming light of the train as it lit the tunnel.
Peace and love,
Ja’far

July 19th 2015

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Ball…

The hard wood doors below the intricate engravings on the frame opened and out ran three kids, followed by a matronly looking middle-aged lady who looked even more pear-shaped thanks to the football she held under her arm.

The five-or-so-aged boy was staring at the ball with an anticipation, like a cute little dog waiting for the owner to throw the round object.
As they descended down the marble steps, they came to a halt as the lady set down some rules, all the while the ball remained stubbornly wedged by her side.
“We are not going to the park; your mother said I should only take you to the playground!” she insisted, despite the lower lip of the boy acquiring a slight upward trajectory, and his little sister feeling the need to join her big brother in what was threatening to be a tear-fest on the steps.
As a distraction, the woman moved the ball to her hand, offering it as a reward for the acquiescence of the brother and his supporting sister.
“And I will get you some ice cream!”
Now that the playground came with a sweetener, the boy’s case was hopeless; his younger sister was not going to hold out any further.
The group crossed the road to the private gardens in the middle of the square lined with red-stone buildings with French windows.
Peace and love,
Ja‘far

July 12th 2015

Monday, July 13th, 2015

A VW Camper van made old engine noises that reminded him of his childhood games playing with tiny red and yellow trucks.

With sheer physical effert, the driver steered the charming vehicle now to the right, and then to the left, and forward and back, in order to fit it into the small parking space.

The passengers had already disembarked and were monitoring the precise operation from the pavement.

The two boys, perhaps seven and ten, wore a look of admiration for the man in the driver seat; the thirty-something woman was enjoying this moment of silence in the company of her family.

When the engine shut down, ending its drum-beat like soundtrack with a puff from its exhaust pipe, the boys were back in action, asking questions, demanding to go to this place before that, and wondeing if they could go to a fast-food restaurant straight after.

The Camper van was left behind, shaded by the gently shaking leaves of the trees lining  the square

Peace and love,

Ja’far

July 5th 2015

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The boy in a blue football jersey and matching long shorts walked past heading to the stairs. His mother stood behind, watching her son get farther along the platform.

As she clearly expected, he turned round and shuffled back, defeated and embarrassed.

“Alors, on fait quoi maintenant?” she asked him, trying not to allow too many “I-told-you-so” notes in her voice.

He motioned to the sign indicating the Piccadilly line platform.

“Great, well done!” she said, in a French accent.

“Et après?”

She was relentless in what seemed to be her attempt to get the boy, who was towering above her, despite his obvious 13 to 15 age, to learn the route, or become confident using the Tube.

This final question was too much for the tall youngster.

He mumbled something under his breath. She smiled, pretending not to have heard him.

Slowly, they disappeared into the the crowd of people that formed quickly, puddle-like, at the bottom of the escalator, by the Piccadilly line.

Peace and love,

Ja’far