Tube stories: I saw her ankles first

I saw her ankles first. She jumped onto the tube carriage in a hurry, grabbing the pole like a dancer, not a pole-dancer, but a ballerina, with poise. What caught my attention was the penny sized blisters that covered her ankles. A series of bites spiralled around her calfs, crawling towards her thighs like morse code. How high did they go? I dreaded to think. She reached down, scratched self-consciously at the largest of the bites. It screamed angrily, throbbing against the light mahogany tone of recently tanned skin. I quickly concluded that no more than twenty-four hours ago this woman had been sunning herself on a beach. Then train screamed into the station, and brought with it a judgement, an instant assessment formed from nothing more than a glance. She would claim these marks as the battle scars of a good time. “The holiday was great. The weather was beautiful. So hot. But the mosquitos. You’ve never seen anything like them. They ate me alive. Look. See. Ate me alive.”  The tube doors opened. The woman pushed her way past the crowd of commuters, and disappeared, taking her war story with her.

The New Statesman: George Eaton: Chequers was always doomed but Leavers can’t blame the EU

Mr. Eaton’s assessment of our imminent crash out of the European Union makes me think of a line from the Sex Pistols “God save the queen” that predicts “no future, And England’s dreaming”. The rest of the John Lydon’s lyrics could’ve been about written for the occasion.

God save the queen
The fascist regime
They made you a moron
A potential H bomb

God save the queen
She’s not a human being
and There’s no future
And England’s dreaming

Don’t be told what you want
Don’t be told what you need
There’s no future
No future
No future for you

God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen
God saves

God save the queen
‘Cause tourists are money
And our figurehead
Is not what she seems

Oh God save history
God save your mad parade
Oh Lord God have mercy
All crimes are paid

Oh when there’s no future
How can there be sin
We’re the flowers
In the dustbin
We’re the poison
In your human machine
We’re the future
Your future

God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen
God saves

God save the queen
We mean it man
There’s no future
In England’s dreaming God save the queen

No future
No future
No future for you

No future
No future
No future for me

No future
No future
No future for you