A business man loses his cool on a packed train to Taunton.
This story was made at a four day workshop for artists interested in facilitating Bristol Stories workshops. The theme was “Maps and journeys”.
The workshop was led by Aikaterini Gegisian and Liz Milner and was supported by Bristol’s Museums, Galleries & Archives.
[Sound of a train]
Once again I find myself on a crowded train, headed from Bristol to Taunton, well, when I say “train” I mean “one carriage”.
We are packed in like sardines, and there are backpacks, briefcases and brollies, poking and jabbing into backs, legs and stomachs. People are turing red with embarrassment as they are pressed closer and closer to people that they don’t know, making extremely intimate contact during what will be a not-so-brief encounter.
More people try to get on the train as the platform staff try desperately to close the doors.
“Move down the aisle please!” The train staff have locked themselves in the driver’s cab. There’ll be no tickets checked tonight.
Ties are being loosened, and jackets unbuttoned, as the carriage starts to steam up. The safety announcement blurts from the intercom advising us to read the safety leaflets. A collective groan spreads along the length of the carriage, to be interrupted by a pounding sound.
Heads turn in the direction of the sound. Heads turn very carefully, so as not to make further intimate contact with the person next to or in front of them. Everyone is looking for the source of the sounds. We all stare at the steamy windows and someone wipes the window to reveal a man in a well-tailored pin-striped suit, carrying a briefcase in his left hand, and wearing a bowler hat. he is shouting, but I can’t hear what he is saying. In his right hand is a big black umbrella with a silver tip. He swings it back and hits the train [banging sounds]. A member of platform staff walks up to him and seems to be trying to calm him down, but I can’t hear anything, apart from the noises on the train.
Someone pulls one of the overhead windows open, and we all hear hiis voice: “I will not be [bleep] treated like this. You will open those [bleep] doors or I will [bleep] smash them open! You people don’t know who you’re [bleep] dealing with!”
His voice fades as the train engine starts and it starts to pull away from the platform. We see him throw down his umbrella and scream [screaming sound]. I hear bleeps [telephone dialling sounds] and someone says “I’m on the train. Sorry, but it’s running late.”
All media not otherwise credited created by the story author, or permission obtained, used under copyright licence.
Scream sound created by thanvannispen, freesound.iua.upf.edu, used under Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 licence.
Telephone sound created by LG, freesound.iua.upf.edu, used under Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 licence.
Men with hats created by Maggiejumps, flickr.com, used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 licence.
Businessman created by jonfeinstein, flickr.com, used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 licence.
Intercom created by de*, flickr.com, used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 licence.