Strangers: Married Man

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

I watched a man over the tops of the train seat, my view cluttered with a woman's fiery frizzed hair and offbeat upholstered patterns.

He twisted with torment at a tarnished gold wedding band, screwing it on his finger with an angered contempt that could only mean one thing: he'd been married for a while.
Pursing his lips, the balding business man pushed his hands together upright and burrowed his face deep inside, spluttering loud expletives that whatever god he was praying to would punish him for later.
There he was, with his lazily buttoned shirt and half done tie, screaming at the wrong person, begging to an audience of bleary eyed commuters on the 8:15am train into the city.

I'd badger people constantly that I wasn't in love, that I didn't wake up with the taste of somebodies name twirling on my tongue, but watching this man through the loop holes of hand rails spilled a grateful tonic over my love-lusting, happy and scared to death simultaneously that one day I could end up like him. So angry and passionate, furiously out of hope trying to persuade another level, another fate, to change them.
But he must've still loved her enough for it to effect him in such an audible manner.

I pinched myself for romantisicing it, for all I knew his wife could've been a manipulative whore who had slept with his brother and run off with all of his money. But instead, much like every other teenager, I'd been lulled and indoctrinated with a quixotic and quaint fantasy that spitting someones name through gritted teeth was just as poetic as singing it.

We catch glances momentarily and I cower in my seat unsure as to whether or not a sympathetic smile would print callous instead of kind.
Eyes flicking back to the coils on his fingertips I take my moment and jump off at the next stop.
As the train pulls away I make a closed mouth smile through the glass and slowly he nods his head.

I bloody hate Mondays, but probably not as much as he did today.


  1. I don't know why, but I love analysing strangers on commutes. It's like you're unfolding your own story about them or making deductions on these people like Sherlock. I hope you write more like these, Charly!

  2. It's incredible that you can think of this just by looking at someone. I hope you write more things like this x

  3. Your writing style is so impressive! It's kind of poetic? Sorry I'm not so good with words...
    Keep on writing :)

  4. Funny, this reminds me of last Saturday, when I was going to work at 05:20 am. I was looking at the snow outside (Helsinki) and thinking how crappy it is to wake up so early and go to my job, which I hate and get paid just enough to make me get out of bed in the first place.
    Then a really, really, really drunk man entered the bus and sat next to me. We didn't speak for the first 3 bus stops, I was hoping that he would move away so I wouldn't have to smell the alcohol on his breath.
    On our way to the 4-th bus stop, he looked at me straight in the eyes with his drunk, red and puffy could see he had been crying, and he asked me "What did I do to deserve to love someone like her?"
    It was so shocking, people on the bus usually don't even sit next to each other, much less speak. He fell asleep on my shoulder and I let him do it until it was time to get off. I couldn't get the story, nor did I ask. But that bus ride made me realize that there are things much greater than my mundane annoying routines. And I felt sad for the man. Really sad.

  5. Do you mind if share this text to my year 9 English class ? Even though your just talking about a man who's had a break up and expressed it on train in an unusual way. The way you have crafted your words makes it sound more interesting and makes it excellent piece of writing. This shows that the words you use have a big effect on what you say. My students should spend their time reading this blog!

    1. Wow! Thanks so much. Certainly, I'd love for you to show them. X

  6. Charly could you PLEASE post a list of some of your favorite books?

  7. Did you know that you can create short links with OUO and get cash from every click on your shortened urls.



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