I grab onto a pole as the (naturally overfull) train starts inching closer to the city. The smell of stale smoke and listless conversation seeps through the scarf wrapped over my mouth. A craned neck and quick step usually secures a seat but today there’s no space for stretching and two stepping and I am stuck with my ass in the hands of the kind sir behind me and my nose in the unwashed hair of a high school teen. Merry Christmas.

I shift my leg to supply blood to my toes and read some French text messages of the passenger to my left. Why did I ever give up my French? Fait is faire is to do. Ok, so she is going to do something. Maybe she’s planning a heist. Kidnap the president (sighs of relief). Next station. Some security guards consumed in conversation walk past looking very security-like in their orange vests.

The doors close and I say a silent prayer for my handful of extra height, stretching over a small man in tweed, I seat myself between miss big boots and missus Sunday buffet. Then cursing my ridiculous height, I squeeze my knees to my chin and stop the blood flow to my legs completely.

A wave of pungent garlic breath hits my unassuming nostrils like pots and pans clanging together in disharmony, as the missus turns to her still-sleeping friend and starts sharing about her baby boy – who is probably prince doughnuts, still in his ‘matrix’ jersey from ‘05 – and his BIG birthday (literal referral?). Her face animated as she describes her self-designed dress in red with naughty sparkly bits and litres of lace. She probably had garlic bread stuffed with garlic bread for supper.

There are light chuckles and girly giggles as the ladies exchange some detail reserved only for cake and coffee dates while Madame pouty lips in the corner, with the life-time supply of lip gloss, pouts in the direction of a young man in a neat suit, a clerk at a massive law-firm, at least that’s what I imagine he does.

More people push in and pour into the aisles at the next station when ‘whack!’ Clerk-boy lost control of his briefcase, given to him by his dying rich grandfather, and took a swing at my head. Now he is a toilet scrubber, in my mind. Too early for words and afraid of last night’s supper repeating on his breath, he mumbles an apology and looks at the train door with crimson creeping in his neck.

I revert my superpower and stare, more like ‘pretend to’, out of the not-so-transparent train window, deep in thought about Dr. Medicine man and the patients for penis enlargements. I wonder if the man in tweed ever thought of seeing a doctor. He is incredibly short.

My toes feel like they belong to the sleeping man across the aisle. It’s raining now and I have forgotten my umbrella on the dining room table.