Oh boy, it’s difficult to have a story line in my head that has little to do with the Sunday whirl words, but I persevered and hope this try doesn’t disappoint.
merge, project, activate, technology, unity, mantra,
smudge, sing, delicious, inquisitive, urge, stellar
In the crush of the people who merge from different corners of London into Victoria Station, a forced unity of technology, the evening exodus on the 19:35 to Haywards Heath, across the aisle from me is a girl with unbelievable hands.
They are pale, which suits her, and graceful and smooth and look like they sing fluent piano, even with thick rings of blue and green and one with silver butterflies fluttering together with every movement, tinkling on the correct fingers.
She slips the rings off in some urge to be free and lays them all on the table in front of her.
The butterfly ring rolls around the table and she stands it up and forgets it, and it rolls over the edge with the curve of the train and tinkles to the floor.
She either doesn’t notice or doesn’t mind but studies her hands which flit in front of her face now like messenger pigeons; her fingers project forward and fold to her palms in a delicious rhythm influenced by the swooshing of the train.
I watch her hands reflecting in my window although I think she might know because there is nothing past the window but the stellar night, so I wipe at a smudge to guard that I am watching at all.
She checks the articulation of her fingers according to the diagrams open in front of her and continues with her graceful mantra, every sign mirrored, not that I would understand the difference.
As the train stops at Gatwick she picks up her rings and folds the patterns of speech and secrets them into the pocket of her peacoat.
I notice the butterfly ring on the floor as she begins to walk away and bend down on one knee to retrieve it.
“Miss, I think this is yours.” I call out after her, but she doesn’t turn, doesn’t hear.
She steps from the train to the platform of the active station and into her soundproof dark.
She throws one inquisitive look to the window and I, looking back, don’t know what to say.