Almost Circle Line
Everybody was running to catch the last train of the Underground. There
would be no choice for them but Night Bus if they missed it. So was I.
I ran through the underpass of King's Cross Station in London, and finally
rushed in the train. I had almost missed the train. But anyway, I got it.
"How many stations to the Earls Court?" The train headed toward
right direction. However from the certain point, names of the station passing
by were changed to the strange one. Shortly after, the train came out on
the ground. It's dark outside. So I could not see it well, but I felt like
the scenery was different from familiar one. However I wasn't dubious for
it because I had the fact that I had taken the Circle Line.
Lessening street lights, lessening passengers .... I felt I had taken the
train too long. A man looked commuter was passing on the aisle . A young
couple sitting in front of me asked him with full of anxiety. "Ah,
Excuse me. Do you know where this train is heading for?" "Where
are you guys going?" The couple told him the name of district in the
city. "My God. You got problem. You are getting apart from city center
of London." Getting apart from London? ... I was surprised, then raise
up my hand and said to him. "Me too. I'm going to Earls Court"
"Oh, you too? Let's get off this station" The door's opened.
I and the couple got off the train with the man. It seemed like his station.
"What are you gonna do? It's quite expensive for going back to London
with normal taxi. I know a private one. So I'm gonna call it for you if
you like" Of course, we did not want pass the night at such a small
station in suburb. We asked him for the taxi.
According to him, only the last train of the Circle Line headed for suburb.
Nobody could image it except frequent passenger. It's like a hammer of
hammer throw. It's not the Circle Line any more. I could pay some attention
if it called at least "Almost Circle Line"
Underground of London was sometimes beyond my expectation. It stopped all
day long on Christmas, for instance.
After making sure the taxi came, the man left. I thanked for him anyway.
The taxi driver was the Afghan. And the couple who looked like tourist
were Israelis. The air in the taxi was strained as world affair. Shortly
after the Israeli couple got off. The young taxi driver told me. "The
Israelis, uh?""Yes, they were" Long silence came after that.
Suddenly the driver opened his mouth then spoke a lot. "By the way,
how's Tokyo now a days? My little brother worked in Japan before"
I had heard those kind of question hundred times before.
"You travel alone? Where do you stay? Yeah, Earls Court. You know?
You can buy the girl on the street there. You already got it? 35 BP is
limit. Don't pay more than that"
I got off the Circle on the night. And I learned a lot in the Afghan taxi,
from world affair to street girl.
" Projection clock " London, UK 1992