Male Phobia
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Rebecca is so old. Her face is neatly folded lines after lines, pale and loose.

Rebecca travels with central line on Saturdays - all the way through West Ruislip to Epping. This route must have been extended, today she thought, it's like travelling across the country. She remembered well that time, when she was 21, she travelled from the south coast - the sunny hilly southern countryside - to somewhere in the north with that newly built railway, it was travelling by a rocket, terrificly fast. It took less time than this journey, she sank into comtemplations. The clock in her head stopped working a while ago, for maybe ten years, maybe twenty years, maybe more. Don't ask Rebecca about time. Time is nonesense for a 92 years old.

The broadcast must have said something, is it Epping yet? Rebecca made an attempt to stand up, she leant against the railing - painted red and solid. The train is trembling, Rebecca was like a fallen leaf, dry and light, she swang and swang with the tempo of the train; but keeping the body balanced is not a problem for a skillful elderly.

What is this young man murmuring about? A well-built business-man looking guy was trying to find out where Rebecca was off to. To let an old woman standing on an unstable train aimlessly seemed quite a dangerous thing to do. He looks tired, poor young chap. I'm off to Epping. So the man led her to sit down again. The train started off when Rebecca tried to settle down in the tricky seat. The power of inertia threw her off down quite easily. That body hit the hard substance of seating, and sank into it, without a slight bouncing back.

The train was gradually getting packed as it approaches to the city centre, but no one sat next to Rebecca. Rebecca doesn't mind at all, she can't be bothered to shout out the kindly words 'please sit down next me', standing up and swinging is not a suffering for them, none is to Rebecca herself.

She is so happy. Rebecca needs no reason to be happy. When the hair covered by snow, face carved by age, and bones dragged down by the gravity, the heart becomes light and fears there goes away with the concept of time.

That Chinese young woman sitting opposite looks confused and sad. She has a long time to realise that life is but a tube journey appreciating flickering landscapes in the sunshine, enduring fear of darkness in the man-made tunnels, and finally getting used to and rid of both so as to achieve the bliss.

Everyone went off at Loughton, three stops before Epping. The carriage is left only Rebecca, there she sits softly and happy, her hair finely pinned, two different shoes worn on feet, her handbag is comparatively new, her eyes are as deep as the Loch Morar.

It's a journey never stops and never ends.
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