Wednesday, 29 December 2010

London Diary 38

Another day, another dollar. I slumped onto the tram. I hate Christmas. So many happy, successful people out there, enjoying time off with their families while I am too flipping poor to take the time off. Lording it with their bags of shopping full of goods for the sales while I have a gas bill as large as Mount Everest to pay off by the end of the month. And a Happy New Year to you.

I hate using the tram. The floor is always covered with some sticky residue, the dismembered voice telling me every few moments to keep an eye out for suspect packages and inane rattling of the metal pole that rings in my ears and prevents me from dozing off.

Well, by the time I get to Merton, I'm almost asleep. The rattling has stopped, but a jolt wakes me up. A girl behind me is talking on her phone.

'Yeah, the school expelled her because she is really disruptive in class. Her mum tried to send her to St Agatha's which is one of the best schools for special needs, but they don't want her. Yeah, she makes noises in class like an animal and the teachers can't control her.'

For some reason, my interest is perked. Personally, I do not like kids. Annoying, dysfunctional brats. Yeah. I was a kid once, and I am glad I am no longer that pratty. But this conversation is interesting. It doesn't deal with, like Facebook, yeah (most kid's conversations today), but of something real...

'She's on the ADHD drug. She has 80mg, because she is like, really fucked up, while I am only on 50mg. Shit, it's my stop!'

The girl gets up and walks past, in a gangly, adolescent way. Awkwardly growing into herself and into the world around her. But what the hell are we raising as a society?

We no longer love our kids but buy sh**ty gifts to prove our affections. No longer do we have contact in person, but online. We no longer smack our kids, but pump them full of drugs and send them to the naughty corner. Like me, the girl is mixed race - society's shameful lust - packed away to be harmless. Drugged up and eventually under trodden, to ride the rails like me. Fed up, worn out and listening to the bulls**t of the city. Thank God my stop is almost here. I have had enough of tonight...