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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Blog 94: Conversing

“What's so awful about classical literature then?” Luke asked his companion as their train shot through the countryside.
“I'm not saying it's awful, just too predictable and contrived to my eyes, quite formulaic.” Alan twirled a London Underground ticket in his hand. Luke frowned at him.
“Maybe it seems formulaic because it's so embedded in our culture.” Luke kept his volume to a polite level but the irritation was rising in his tone.
“It's all too much; alas my love I do declare I am to wed the man stood there. My father would rather I perish than grant me my one wish: to be betrothed to you…”
“And what's,” Luke interrupted but Alan spoke over him.
“…And then the man says; I will beseech him reconsider and should he not I'll prove myself a gallant fool when I challenge the soldier at a duel. The soldier shoots the lover before he can take aim but as with most it ends the same. The soldier, victorious, sees not the lover's bullet let fly which strikes him in the eye. The soldier dead, the lover rests in bed, nursed by his woman.” Alan grabbed his juice bottle as it slid across the fold down table. He sipped from it before continuing.
“They both live happily ever after until the soldier's family notice he's dead in the second book.” Luke frowned.
“You're such a pessimist.” Alan gave him a blank stare, his face radiated no emotion. Others projected emotions onto Alan's neutral features. The fearful saw distilled violence hidden behind cold indifference. Those who like to comfort saw sadness. Luke saw indifference, a statue that might have thrown away his soul if he'd had one. Luke had begun the conversation to end the silence he'd endured for an hour since they left Kings Cross Station on the train bound for Inverurie. Luke shrank away when Alan glanced at him during the silence. Luke hated silence but Alan just sat through it, if anything Luke thought Alan had come closest to smiling during the empty silence, while Luke squirmed. He couldn't just sit next to Alan the whole way, it would have driven him mad. Alan let Luke's last quip hang in the air, he didn't see it as an insult.
“Why do I talk to you?” Luke asked.
“I've been wondering that for a while.” Replied Alan, watching the aggravated reflection of Luke in the window. Alan thought of how just moments before Luke had proved the absurdity of his need to fill the silence by retelling the story of a very awkward journey he'd had on a train. Alan realised instantly that Luke was describing events just hours prior as if he hadn't been there. “If you want to talk so much then why not talk to the redhead you've been staring at?” The redhead in question turned to glare at them, assuming they'd mocked her.
“Thanks! Now I can't talk to her.” Luke hissed.
Lucky Her, Alan thought. “You can, she just wont listen.”
“Brilliant.” Luke sighed and stared at the luggage rack above his head. The redhead turned back to her phone, still frowning and sent her friends a rant filled text. “I don't want to talk to you.”
“Then don't, find another seat somewhere and we'll never talk again.” Luke thumped the chair and stood; he grabbed his bag from the luggage rack and found another seat. Both of them settled and reminded themselves that they'd only met when they sat down next to each other that morning.

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