The Platform Lovers – 3

He sits there, his face red in the June sunshine, but there is much more to his face than this weekends sunburn.

His gnarled nose, criss-crossed by scarlet veins prominent against the otherwise ruddy pink of his skin gives his history away.

He’s frowning, but for no reason, because that’s what he does, his right arm balanced on the frame of the window as he watches the world pass him by.

And it does pass him by, no-one even gives him a second glance as he sits there watching people come and go around him. They all appear to be busy but no one wants his business.

He can’t hide his bitterness, it sucks the life from him, it’s darkness is more obvious than the alcohol damaged nose.

But his attitude remains defiant in defeat “Don’t talk to me, I don’t want to know, I’m not interested in anyone except me and fuck you for asking.”

The thought is only in his head and no-one does care about him, not one soul in the world.

He has destroyed all that he once had, he knows it himself. He had his chances at love and redemption and he fucked up like the loser he has always known himself to be.

He looks at the apathetic confusion all around him and asks himself, What has happened to my city?

What has happened to the world that I grew up in?

Why is it that every second face or voice is now a foreigner, Why do they all come here?

Where did it all go wrong?

It wasn’t his fault that he had his illness, that it had got out of control, that was no reason for her to leave him.

Was it?

Not to take the kids and move away to another part if the country. He wasn’t that bad was he?

But he was, he knew he was, he’d bullied her physically and emotionally.

He’d destroyed her confidence and the love she had for him and eventually she left never to be seen again.

For a time he’d enjoyed the freedom, the wine, women and song until the house was repossessed and no-one wanted to know.

Then he lived in hostels, drinking with people who had once called the scum of the earth sinking lower in his pit if self loathing until the angel with the metallic burgundy hair had saved him.

She’d spoke to him like he mattered, that he had some value, she convinced him that he could live again

But for all her positivity, for all her reassurances in the classes he had attended, when he returns to his one bedroom flat, alone and empty, the only person he blames for his situation is himself.

The women with red dress has had a productive day, her presentation was successful and she is pretty sure that the board will give her the funding for the project she has recently began leading through its early development stages.

In fact, she’s certain of it, absolutely certain of it, her post-work drinks with the Finance Director had gave her that assurance.

They had sat there in the cocktail bar at Central Station for the past hour, chatting over work and talking about their families.

He was married with kids and he loved his wife, but wasn’t in love with her any more and was beginning to think about leaving her.

She had told him that she was divorced and was happily single, but that it would be nice to have some male company to do all kind of nice things when her daughter was over at her ex-husbands a few nights each week.

Charles had smiled at this and put his hand on her knee. He told her that the feeling within the board-room after the meeting had been very positive and all it would take was the momentum of having a few key people on board to ensure the boxes were ticked to have the right amount of funding ear-marked for the project,

The implication was clear, she wasn’t so naive to miss out on his obvious posturing.

But she wasn’t as stupid to be so easily bought either.

She smiled and allowed him to leave his hand where it was for a few moment, then made her excuses to go to the bathroom.

When she returned, she stayed for another few minutes, then finished her drink telling him that she would have to get home to make dinner for for her daughter and to help with homework.

Charles said he would have to be home himself soon, daddy duties and all that. Then he paid the bill on the company credit card and walked her to the taxi rank. He was a gentleman, he was always a gentleman, well that’s what he would have you believe.

The rank was quiet and there were lots of cabs waiting opposite the train station. Most people don’t need cabs in the summer sunshine and there were no customers waiting in the queue.

Charles opened the door for her and as she steadied herself to climb into the back of the cab, he kissed her on the cheek.

She smiled at him and blew him a kiss as he closed the door and waved as the cab pulled away from the rank

“Where to?” asks the man with the ruddy alcoholic nose.

“Can you take me to Cambuslang station, I’ve left my car parked there”

“No problem” he turns to the front and starts the meter running.

She’s opening her handbag and removes the small set of headphones and pushes the plug into the clever little pen that had been lying beside her notepad throughout her meeting with Charles.

Then she smiles to herself as she listens back to their conversation in full.

————————————-

For Part 1 click the link below
https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/the-platform-lovers/

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Hit The Floor?

What a weekend again!

Did the family thing on Friday but they made their own way home.

So went dancing.

Love it.

Can’t even remember getting home!

Saturday was up not too bright and not too early for the gala day.

Had a fab time but my days of drinking two days on a trot are well over.

Yesterday for Father’s Day my kids took me for an Indian curry.

But no drinking. I’ve had my fill.

I did do something sensible tho!!

The house modifications are nearly complete. I need to pick new flooring.

What colour of flooring goes with a white high glass kitchen?

I like the light oak but starting to think about the dark wood instead.

Sample pics below.

http://www.housetohome.co.uk/kitchen/articles/effective-flooring-and-worktop-combinations-how-to-buy-kitchen-flooring_259729.html

http://www.housetohome.co.uk/room-idea/picture/10-of-the-best-white-kitchens/6

http://www.housetohome.co.uk/room-idea/picture/10-of-the-best-white-kitchens/8

What Can A Poor Boy Do?

Friday ….. Whoo-Whoo!!!

Guess what I’m doing tonight?

Rock’n’rolling all night long?

Strutting my stuff, with the one, the only, the rock-a-billy, trouser-tastic, quivering shiverin, lock up your hivering Sheikhs?

Nope!!

Could it be a night of dancing and debauchery with a willing damsel in absolutely no distress?

I wish!!

But no, I’m taking my god-father and my auntie to see Joe Longthorne at the Pavilion.

Old-Skool Classic British variety at its best … if you are 70++

It was my Uncle Eddie’s birthday a few weeks ago and I bought him the tickets as a surprise.

Fortunately my only duty is to drop them off and pick them up .. not my kind of gig.

But tomorrow .. Primal Scream and The Stone Roses are playing Glasgow Green.

How much do I want to go …

Unfortunately family commitments don’t really allow it .. so probably not going to make it.

But … thinking of bailing out early to get to the gig.

What can a Poor Boy do?

Sing with me ….

One thing i have to say
Before i have to go
Be careful with your seed
You will reap just what you sow
Oh yeah!
What can a poor boy do?
You better go back to your mama
She’ll take care of you

Country girl take my hand
Lead me through this diseased land
I am tired i am weak i am worn
I have stole i have sinned
Oh my soul is unclean
Country girl got to keep on keeping on

Full lyrics here ..

Gorgeous But Not For You!

She got on the lift at the 4th floor, heading down.

She had been standing 10 foot from the door, this highly attractive blonde woman.

Attractive, but God does she know it and she wants everyone else to know it too.

I sized her up in a nano-second, 5’3, cute, 30ish, deliberately tousled hair.

Of course it was deliberate, this level of attraction never happens by accident.

She’s size 12 on top and 10 below, probably a B cup, but she looks like a C with the bra she’s wearing underneath her clingy petrol blue dress.

I can see the padding at the sides pushing her breasts up and forward.

Nice, but in my personal opionion, she would actually be nicer without, its always a bit of a disappointment when you see the goods.

Better if you know whats up front upfront.

If you know what I mean?

She wiggles her cute little ass over to the enclosed space of the lift.

Her dress hugs her figure with each step, the lines moving like a wave.

She is hot!

The lift is only 6 foot by 6 foot. there’s nowhere else to stand except close to me and I’m the only other person here.

I’m standing at the back, on the left hand side, facing the door. Giving any new arrivals lots of personal space.

She gets in but doesn’t turn around.

I don’t even think she’s noticed me, or if she has, she’s already dismissed me as being no value to her.

She stands a foot in front of me to my right hand side, looking at the mirror behiond me.

She’s pursing her lips to check the gloss which looks as if its just been applied to her ruby lips a few moments before.

She smiles at herself, obviously content with her look, then runs her hands down the sides of her dress, making sure there are no creases in the material.

Then to my surprise, like a dancer, she suddenly pops her left leg to the side, points her right hand in the air, slowly lowers it towards her reflection, pouts her lips and drawls “You are Gorgeoussss!!”

I’m smiling, fuck it I think, I’ve been checking her out from my peripheral vision but now I can’t hide it.

She turns and stands against the right hand wall, facing towards me.

I’m still smiling.

“Did you like that?” She asks.

“I never noticed, but thanks for the compliment!”

Blowing the Whistle On UK Government Bypassing EU Working Practices and Immigration Control.

Right, where do I start?

The beginning, I suppose, lets just get the facts out there and we can go from there.

I work for a large govenment bank in Glasgow., I can’t tell you the name, but its a company 100% owned by the govenment and is not those failed banks RBS or Lloyds TSB.

I’m a “consultant”, what I do is design/redesign their banking systems, currently their core loan system of 8 million customers and 200 billion of debt owed to the UK taxpayer .. thats your money and mine.

I’ve been here almost a year on rolling 3 month contracts on a project which has now came to an end.

I’ve recently transferred to another project and have 4 weeks remaining on my current contract.

All good I thought, there’s at least 6 months work in this for me.

So I plodded on, what I do is very technical and very specialised, you can’t walk off the street and do my job.

I was told by my Project Manager that I would have another 3 month contract and then another 3 after that.

Fantastic.

But .. and this is why I was so pissed off on Monday.

On Monday I get a call from my agency telling me that my contract is not being renewed and thanks for all my good work.

That despite being on another project and my manager telling me I had another 6 months work ahead.

So how come I hear you ask? What changed?

Well thats what I wanted to know.

It seems that the company is no longer employing independent contractors, but is now employing contractors through a couple of outsourcing companies who will supply the employees who will work on the banks projects.

Fair enough I though .. thats business .. but this is not what is pissing me off.

Having looked a little deeper, these outsourcing companies are non-UK and not even EU.

I’ve been told that despite my contract being terminated, there are 2 non-EU citizens being brought in the project to do my work.

Not only is this bypassing the EU laws on working practice and migration.

But from a financial point of view, the outsourcing company charges 150% of my daily rate for each of them.

So thats 3 times my contract rates to bring in 2 non-EU citizens to do my role.

Note that this isn’t just affecting myself. It’s a strategic change from the top and affecting many UK contractors who are employed here in varying roles.

And you will be paying for these guys.

Am I raging?

No.

It’s just wrong .. wrong and I’m not going to let anger get in the way of doing something constructive about it.

So where do I blow this whistle?

The Platform Lovers – Part 2

Over the next few weeks, she was there every day on the platform alone.

Occasionally she would cast a forlorn glance towards the stairs, then toss her cigarette on the ground and roughly stub it out with the toe of her boot.

Crushing the doubt into the ground as if it symbolised something else.

I’ve no idea if she was expecting him to arrive or not but there was always a sadness in her face as if she was grieving for love now lost.

Briefcase man is at the door as usual, suited, solemn and far too self-important to smile at the ordinary people around him.

I feel sorry for him, doesn’t he realise that he’s just as ordinary as the rest of us waiting on the 8:45 train into town and plodding through a mundane day of work that we don’t really give a toss about.

Not one of his fellow travellers is here by choice. We sit at our desks and do what we have to, but half the time we are just killing time, chatting with colleagues, browsing the web, online shopping or maybe making up stories.

Personally I’d much rather be on a beach. But the beach doesn’t pay.

She sits there in the front of me now, her headphones leaking the wail of a rock guitar and the tinny sounds of cymbals playing a 16-beat bar.

I’ve no idea what it is, some grungy shit that takes too much effort to listen too and all sounds the same in the end.

Just another Cliché.    Ker-ang!

The train is packed and we shuffled and squeezed into the last few seats in the small 4 seat booth with 2 seats facing front and rear.

It seems to be an unwritten rule that you don’t sit directly opposite the person in front of you. That in today’s world of constant electronic communication, where most people are looking at their smart-phone or mp3 player, that you avoid eye-contact at all costs.

The social norm is that the first person in the booth takes the prime seat at the window facing front, the second sits at the aisle side facing to the rear.

The rock-chic if you can call her that when she’s in her early 40s takes the other front facing seat on the aisle. For a moment, I’m tempted to stand, its only a 15 minute journey. But it’s easier to type if I’m sitting and there are more people coming behind me so standing will be a crush.

A few years ago,  I spent the short journey from Alicante Airport to the plane home trapped on some glass-house of a bus with its windows locked and no Air-Con suffering the rancid odours of some woman who hadn’t washed in her week of Spanish debauchery.

Fuck that!

I ask the student beside me if he will move his back-pack so that I can have the window seat beside him.  He seems to be operating on some sort of time-lag and eventually looks up from his book and takes out his headphones.  So I nod over towards the seat and take a half step to push past him, hoping he would take the hint and move his bag and knees to accommodate me.

Not with pleasure he wouldn’t.

He picks the bag up and lets out a sullen snort as he slides over into the window seat, dropping the bag on the small table as if whatever his problem is was my making.

Yeah yeah, been there did that.

I sat there and smiled, the guy was safely looking out the window,  so I ignored him.

What was he going to do anyway? Say no? I think not.

I took a few moments to assess the carriage, another row of booths and then the back wall, all workers on the way to the daily grind.

It’s mostly blokes but I don’t really see them.  Younger guys in cheap suits and over-gelled hair. Older guys past the pretending-I’ve-got-a-career stage, walking jackets and cropped hair to hide the grey, one guy in his early 50s with a tan and a suit, shaven head, bull-neck, looking fit for a man of his years.

He has a certain self-assurance about him, like he’s seen it all before, possibly ex-military. I don’t think he’d be the kind of guy you’d want to mess with on a dark night.

He sits there assessing the new arrivals as much as I’ve assessed my surroundings. For a moment we make eye contact and it’s gone.

I smile that someone else’s radar is as much switched on as mine.

I wonder how I look from his point of view, then if everyone is people watching or just the alert few on this short journey into the banal.

Then there are the ladies!

It’s funny how you see the same women most days, most even take the same carriage. They’re doing the same thing as me, getting ready for a quick exit from the crowded platform at the other end.

There’s the young blonde student, tall and pert, perhaps showing too much cleavage. Enough that I’d be telling my daughter to put that away or at least calling my ex-wife to have that difficult conversation full of trap-doors and door slamming sulks.

She’s lovely, but in a completely different market and far too young for me, so I look away before she catches me looking like some letching perv.

Heaven help!

Then I spot her,  classy red-lady,  sitting in her usual place across the aisle,  always at the first row at the back of the 3rd carriage.  Always on the right hand side.  The far side from where I’m standing waiting for the train to arrive.

If I’m absolutely honest with myself,    I get on the same carriage deliberately.

Seeing her somehow makes my morning feel a little bit better, warmer even in the cold Glasgow air.  Just a moment,  a glance and the occasional smile and I feel alive.

Earlier, as I stood on the platform I wondered if she will be here today.  Then  I wondered how many of the guys around me were doing the same?

She’s 5’4’’, slim, pretty, early 40s. Her dark chestnut hair is professionally coloured and her nails manicured.  No cheap bottle black for this lady.

She always wears red, always, but not always the same. Sometimes it’s a dress, or a top, today its her shoes,  peep toed,  leather sling-backs.  a gold edge on her 3 inch stiletto heels.  They look as expensive as her bag and her tailored business suit.

Somehow David Bowie starts playing in my head, “Put on you’re red shoes and dance the blues” I’d love to dance the blues with you girl!

Although I see her every day,  why is it that I find myself looking out for her. But trying not to look at her?   Occasionally we get up at the same moment and move towards the exit doors and I always let her go first,  she smiles but we never speak.

I doubt that we ever will.  It would just feel wrong.

But for that brief moment standing close to her at the packed exit door,  as the train slows down into Central does feel like heaven.  She smells like an angel or like babies.  I know she wears Chanel, Allure I think,  its strong and feminine and I could breathe her in all day long.

But now,  she’s sitting in the opposite booth,  diagonally opposite,  reading her Metro and occasionally glancing  around the carriage.  I’m trying not to notice but I can see her with my peripheral vision or if the train is going through a tunnel,  I turn to my right and can see her reflection in the window glass as its mirrored by the darkness beyond.

I have no-idea where she boards the train, but it must be early in the journey as she always has the prime seat.

But then I’ve no idea from where this train originates either. I just get on at 8:45 every day and its here, its always here heading to Milngavie via Glasgow Central Low Level.

Where it came from before here could be anywhere.

If I was going to be cheesy, it could have been heaven and she’s the angel.

But that would be crap and you would think so much less of me if I’d said that! 🙂

Red-lady is probably the same age as the rock-chic but so much more attractive to me in ways that rock-chic will never be. Although to be fair, I think rock-guy with his pony-tail saw it differently before he disappeared from the face of the rock-planet.

It is difficult not to make eye contact in this small 4 seat booth, people tend to look down or look out the window, anywhere except to be caught looking at each other.

The rock-chic is there in her normal black tee-shirt.

Normal?

Normal in that it’s frequent,  her regular garb.  But Mega-Death or Def Leppard or some other band are not really acceptable attire in most office jobs, where some level of conformity is expected.

As a fellow rebel, I appreciate her two finger salute to the expected normality.

Good for her.

But something’s different;

At first I just thought it was because she was seated that the rolls of her excess body-weight were more pronounced.

But that’s not it.

She is much more rounded at the front and her bump is starting to show.

— To be continued.

For Part 1 click the link below
https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/the-platform-lovers/