Super Man i

at the ticket barrier of Norwich station
a grown man, late-30s probably
tall, in his Superman blue outfit, red boots, red underpants, (no cape)
quite a catch
if you enjoy superhero cosplay
in the concourse of a mainline railway station
at 11:22h on Tuesday mornings,
he is The Man for you

such a superhero that he can't get past the ticket barrier
without a ticket
while she, (smart rain coat, tidy bobbed dyed-blonde hair)
presents her QR code to the scanner and steps neatly through

he raises a plaintive stage voice
'Thank you Nadia, I really needed that. Nice! That was really kind!'
as if he needed to attract further attention to his ridiculous self-centred fragile self

She half-turns, begins
"I've got..." trailing off towards Platform 3 head raised, looking to check her trolley case is coming too,
her unquestioning, loyal travelling companion

'Thank you for that Nadia!'
his stage voice rising as the distance between them grows
step by smart step
'That was really nice!'

no love in that, Superman, no fond farewell
how much Kryptonite has burnt into you?

she starts looking for a door
that will welcome her aboard
kiss shut behind her
she'll find a seat that faces forward
there's no way she will look back
at that terminal idiot

who stands hands on red-panted hips glaring across the closed barrier

"Excuse me, love. I need to get by"
a grandmother, returning to her over-55s retirement apartment in Great Yarmouth,
ducks her way beneath his blue-sleeved elbow
"You'll catch your death in that!"
She's a train to catch
and Superman has met his match.

~

CLP 19/10/2021

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