My feet are snapping quickly now against the pavement, ankles rolling bluntly under the pressure, toes smashing up against the insoles. I’m walking ugly and crazy.
The train could honk in at any moment. Now, or maybe now, or maybe now, or maybe now. Was that it? Probably was, but let’s stay ‘positive’ (/stupid), got to keep walking. It could all come down to a couple of seconds.
A full platform and a wave of relief. I’m safe.
And that’s when I see it, a dark wall, rolling quiet and obnoxious into view, gliding heartless, non-responsive and final. The train is here, and it could all be over.
So begins the run, bracing for the dreadful whistle. Running against time, running, running fast, and a pair of women with huge backpacks, trudging slowly along the narrow entry to the concourse, right there, in my way. Terrible people. I see myself smashing them into the wall to my side, as I chug down the tracks to an awesome life. Instead, I do the ‘sorry, pardon me, can I just, I just need to get through’ thing. Seconds wasted.
No semblance of composure now, bag flying up and down over shoulders, yelling ‘Waaaaiiiiiittttttttttttt’ to the guard as I skid down the steps. I’m a moment away, whistle blows, that awesome sequence of ‘doors closing’ beeps, I’m mid-flight, doors close shut and….I’m inside.
This should and usually would have gone the other way. Train rolling into the distance as I trod up and down the platform, stomach in turmoil, reasoning out my choice to either catch a bus or walk to the next station. I should be listening to my breathing, instead I listen to the voice which says “you need to work on your time management” , projecting crappy fantasies about how embarrassing this will be for me when my other group members notice. Another voice says “I hate uni” and then “I hate everything”. These assessments may or may not be true, the late has that effect on my psychology.
The torture-wait for a bus at railway square, where buses unfortunately disappear from Parramatta road during the single half an hour that I require them, invariably makes me late anyway. I tried though, and doesn’t that count for anything? (It doesn’t)
However, in class this time, I’m too angry, and my jeans are too tight and sweaty from the hot walk from the other side of the planet/campus, for pretend remorse. I didn’t whisper ‘sorry I’m late’ as I came in, because I’m not sorry, I’m just unhappy.
“Why are you late?”. “I’m just, um, late”. Yeah, that’s right. Suck on that. Leave me alone. Don’t you have an assignment to mark? Also, give me that handout from the beginning of the class.
For I too am a victim here. I was asleep just an hour ago, warm and safe. Then my morning turned into that episode of Prison-break where they escaped from Panama for some/no reason. Now I feel crap. This wasn’t me, it was the late invading my life plan again.
Haven’t I suffered enough?
Now lets all go back to bed.