Sunday, 12 July 2009

I don't want to go to Epsom

Donna Summer & Lieutenant Love

Even a medium sized football crowd would have a job filling Crystal Palace Station, so me and the "rock a billly" girl barely trouble its huge brick canyons. She scurries off to the Perspex shelter at the far end of the platform and I loiter around under my borrowed umbrella, the heavy drizzle turning the platforms shiny in the late night street light.

The second to last train pulls in and we grateful get on board dripping in the emptyish carriages; the train dawdles for a minute making expectant chugging pinging noises. Just as the doors start to close “lieutenant love” stumbles into my carriage and messily slumps across the train and bangs into the opposite door. As the train begins to move off he unsteadily makes his way to the seat opposite me and as he lowers himself down he salutes me.
I’m not as drunk as he is but I see no reason not to salute him back which raises a smile. He’s in his late twenties casually dressed wetter than me fuzzy eyed and a bit confused.
With some slurring he asks
“Is this the Epsom train?”
“No mate London Bridge” I reply removing one of my earphone buds.
“S’ok that’s the one I wantss”
He offers his hand to shake, again I see no reason not to shake it.
This makes him smile and he nods for a moment.
“S’want ya listening to?” he asks pointing at my phones.
“I feel love by Donna Summer” I tell him.
This raises another of smile and he half sings a techno doo doo doh high energy riff in his slow drunken way pointing with his fingers in the air.
“thatss the bollocks that is “
I nod in agreement.
He then tries to sing the main refrain
“I feel love”
but gets closer to Jimmy Summerville than Ms Summer.
More smiles and a small laugh.
“You alright you are” he says betraying his lack of judgement.
We rumble on through the night.

“Are you sure this isn’t the Epsom train?” he slurs.
I say “I’m sure” and point to the indicator at the end of carriage which is scrolling through the stops.
Half turning he at least pretends to read the illuminated screen and seemingly reassured turns back to me.
“Thank fuck for that!” he’s says “don’t wanna end in Epsom”
“It’s not that bad “I say with smile.
“ No s’true but my ex and ‘er mother lives in Epsom and I'm in their bad books”
“She found me in bed with ‘er sister”
I’m about to say “that’ll do it” when he adds
“And ‘er cousin!”
We both laugh.
He half sings “I feel love” again
“That’ll be in me head all night now” he says tapping his head partly as if to make sure it was still there.
The train is slowing he salutes me again and starts to stand up unsteadily while offering me his hand to shake again.
“Is this Forest Hill?”
I nod as we shake
“Think I’ll give it ago here then” he continues standing almost fully up and turns holding the hand rails, he slowly edges off the train singing his “doo doo” refrain and offering me one more salute as he carefully gets off the train and the doors close behind him.


al_uk said...

Nice piece. Funnily enough I was listening to The Very Best of Donna Summer as I browsed to your blog!

BLTP said...

Thanx A: I don't know why but I had to hear it on friday. What other of her tracks are worth getting?

Cocktails said...

Did you really write this at 6.51am on a Sunday? Even my Dad doesn't get up that early on a Sunday and he is the lark from hell! Nice story though.

If you want to hear more Donna Summer, you need State of Independence and the entire Love to Love You album. Magnificent.

(Sorry Al, couldn't resist replying before you could - any opportunity to push Donna!)

Mr G. said...

Cheers for making me laugh out loud on muggy (me not the weather) Monday morning. Top story.

BLTP said...

thanx (you will tell me when that gets annoying) CM and Mr G. i'll do some more tune browsing.

Hoops Hooley said...

Ha! Made me laugh...