Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Talking Shit About Respect

by George Anderson

In the quiet drone of the morning carriage
an old guy perks up, his voice alarmingly loud,

‘I spent most of yesterday in the garden. It looked like rain
Most of the day so I couldn’t spray the weeds.’

A woman near him, in a thick Cocky accent agrees,
‘Yes, you need to spray at least seven hours before rain.’

In my seat two down from them on the left I cringingly take it in-
my woolen beanie pulled tightly over my eyes as I try to sleep.

The old man’s gnawing voice rebooting every five minutes or so
in response to the woman’s inane refrains.

They talk about pesticides, talkback radio, shopping, the rain.

Later, as I stir and walk by their seat to disembark, I mutter:
‘Do you know what time it is, Sir?’

He glances at me dismissively as if I am a new breed of vermin.

I tell him as I scurry down the stairs, ‘It’s time you stopped
talking so much shit. People have to work, you know.’

The old man is quick & jumps up & follows me
onto the western platform of Sutherland Station.

‘What did you say?’
You heard me. Turn up your volume if you can’t hear.

I bound up the stairs to catch my connecting train and he screams at me,
‘you young pricks have got no respect!, you’ve got no respect! ‘

And as I glance back his train slowly rolls out towards the weeping heart of the city.

On the yellow line, he futilely attempts to wave down the tons of passing steel.

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