This bloke on the tram yeh

I'm on a tram yeh and there's this bloke yeh


1. This bloke on the tram yeh

I get on the tram at West Croydon and smell piss. I walk down the aisle, and the smell of piss seems to have diffused throughout the whole tram. I'm sniffing for a clean part of the tram, but there is none. I'm looking for streams of piss sluiced up and down the cabin by its wayward acceleration. Something sticky, but dark, like dried cola.

I sit down, and I'm looking at people, trying to work out who smells of piss. Everyone's ugly, and most of us look desperate, and there's this bloke, he looks about 55, wearing a fleece and tracksuit trousers. His complexion is all over the place, worked over by some combination of drink, smoke, dust, violence, cancer, chemo. He's my bet. I bet he smells of piss.

He gets up to disembark and I think, now some of the piss will be exchanged with fresher air when the doors open. He half-staggers, half-swaggers towards the door, I think how ridiculous to be affecting a swagger in your fifties. He gets out, and immediately collapses on the tram stop bench, but in a way that suggests that his leg hurts. Not drunk, then, but injured. And looking at his clothes, they're not particularly dirty. And he pulls a smartphone out of his pocket, thumbs it competently.

And the tram still smells of piss.

And I start thinking, perhaps it's me that smells of piss.

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