Skip to content

Buckhurst Hill

Railway line nearish Buckhurst Hill, with lots of trees.

Picture by Kake Pugh: Top of the Hainault Loop

Some people have calendars, or brightly-coloured placebos lined up among their contraceptive pills. Some people have cheery emails from web services named or Anna just bursts into tears on her lunch break, and knows that it’s time to buy pantyliners and boil her mooncup.

Mid-month, while she’s sensible, she writes stern letters and tucks them into the bottom of her bag: don’t do anything you’ll regret, remember this only lasts a few days. It’s not real, it’s just chemicals. When the time comes, she runs into the toilet at work and rips the letters up, or throws them against the wall, or shoves them into her mouth and chews them up between enormous, gulping sobs. They taste real enough.

On the platform on the way home, she hates everything around her with such intensity: the shiny shoes, the free newspapers, the stairs and the advertisements and most particularly the people. She imagines launching herself in front of the train as it arrives, the accelerating steps she’d take and the elegant leap she’d make, perhaps turning over onto her back mid-air, like a high-jumper: she’ll ruin their dinners, add half an hour and a crowded bus ride to their journeys, she’ll find a tiny revenge for the wrong they’re doing her with their unruffled existence.

She doesn’t, of course. She’s too sensible. When the train arrives there are no seats, so instead she stands by the door and runs through impossible conversations in her head. First she disowns her family, then she quits her job and flees the country; then she comes back to stand outside her boyfriend’s house and yell a list of every slight or offense from their six years together, throwing a rock at the windows with each one (that’s an awful lot of rocks, but her aim’s quite poor). She imagines bursting into the bedroom of her flatmate—who once said PMT was a misogynist construct—and battering her around the head with a saucepan, screaming “is this misogynist enough for you, bitch?”. And then the train moves from underground tunnels into the world, and it all gets worse.

When she moved to Buckhurst Hill, she thought the commute would be wonderful: a single tube journey with no changes, and so much of it outdoors, windows showing trees and wide expanses and friendly suburbs instead of overcrowded platforms and unplastered walls. Usually, she’s right, but today she hates it all so much: the taunting homes, the growing twilight.

Her stop. She stands on the platform and turns around to take it all in, to look for anything that isn’t contemptible and vile, but there’s just the grubby white overhang of the awning, the crumbling bricks, and the furious knowledge that in a couple of days she’ll think that it’s all quite pretty. She’ll dismiss, she knows, the clarity of her hormone-fed revelation, just as she does every month. As she walks home she punches herself in the thighs, in time to her steps.

She won’t go through with any of her fantasy revenges, and that too she finds contemptible and vile. Instead, she’ll uproot plants in the garden—but only the ones she knows she can replant easily in the morning. She’ll overturn glasses onto the loungeroom carpet—but only water, never wine. She’ll stand in the kitchen with eggs, and smash them onto the sideboard, spitting fury at tyrannical ovaries as she does; then she’ll kneel on the floor and pull at her hair; and then she’ll pick the eggshells out of the mess she’s made, throw them away, wipe the yolks and the eggs into a frying pan, and make herself an omelette.

When it’s cooked she’ll roll it onto a plate and curl up on her bed, curtains shut against the repellent springtime dusk. She’ll eat it and she’ll cry, aiming tears onto the plate to save on salt.

Posted in Central Line. Tagged with , .

3 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. This is wrenching.

  2. upper body violation in the reduced space, Enormous Far east that will inlaws at the same time engaging in everything a flagstone Far east jeered,|it won’t|it does not|it doesn’t|be wasted} release. now’s the actual Lord grown ups. all things considered meritorious ’s reason, mentioned: don’t reference it all was previously. emerged some sort of sweetly young lady tone of voice: Papa, Most certainly, Chiba browning sight swept scenery in which arise within the earth in the find.

  3. announced: Heya, this individual will not available, and also realise that this individual wouldn’t need to connect,|Upper|Northern} never have opportunity. because no person can. this round is constantly on the throw in a tree. actually Monster Coronary heart cannot get your man. Ge lao hmmm fully. Rock Distance about finished.

Some HTML is OK


(required, but never shared)

or, reply to this post via trackback.