Nah, it’s too hot. Way too hot. Weird hot. Y’know, the kind of hot you get after that third line, before the sweat hits but after the buzz has gone, the kind of heat that lazy journalists love and commuters dread. The breeze has disappeared like a fart in the wind and I’m stuck here like a fart on the tube, everything feels so heavy. I reach a tentative hand behind my back to check the state (solid liquid gas), it comes away wet, liquid once again folks.
The carriage lurches onwards as its inhabitants struggle to grip onto the sweaty railings, the schadenfreude I’m experiencing in my seat is the only thing taking my mind off the unbearable heat. A pregnant woman is standing near me – I’m not in a priority seat but whoever is has chosen to pretend they’re not either – she’s wearing a tight grey top which is basically polka dotted with her sweat (oh, sorry, she’s pregnant – her “glow”) and her hair is clumped together like shoulder length snakes. My music distracts me and my mind wanders (La Dimanche, cocaine, H.E.R) and before I can stop myself it’s there, fixed eye contact. Man she looks like shit. I’m no knight in shining armour but I’m not exactly bastard of the month, so obviously I spend the rest of my journey falling in between the laps of the suckers I’d been laughing at moments earlier.
It gets worse and worse as the journey goes on (who even gets on a tube at Queensway??) and by the time we crawl into Shepherds Bush I’m fairly certain there’s no oxygen left in the carriage, we’re all just surviving breathing in each other’s evaporated sweat. The doors wheeze open and out we swarm like wasps, tempers well and truly frayed and faces red from the heat. Another slight blockage when we reach the escalator soon passes and I join the others hurriedly checking for messages, emails, likes pokes or favourites as we’re carried back to ground level. God bless whoever invented escalators. A final short blockage at the ticket barriers (IF IT DOESN’T WORK GET OUT THE WAY) and I’m out in the heat and – no – surely not – it’s even fucking hotter up here? As I’m struggling to come to terms with the prospect of the walk home in this unbearable climate I register the look of worry on those ahead of me. Guys, be chill, I’m just overreacting! Oh, it’s not concern for me. I turn around as the pregnant seat-thief collapses – milliseconds before the busybodies and do-gooders swallow her our eyes lock again and I get goosebumps. I’ve never seen anyone look so afraid before.