Fatality


Midsummer's Day

June
Rain
Morning
Train
 Mundane

Horn
Brake
Horn!
Brake!
Hammer
Shake.

Brick?
Block?
Body.
Shock.
Driver
Stunned.
Take
Stock.

Delay?
Delay!
Complaints
Inane.
Phoned
Gripes.
Inhumane.

How
Long?
How
Late?
Drinks
Trolley?
Can't
Wait.

Idiot!
John?
Selfish!
Phil?
Suicide
One
Humanity
Nil.


(I was at the front of a Trans-Pennine Express service from York to Durham this morning, and as we sped through Northallerton station the driver sounded his horn, at first sharply, then desperately. A moment after he applied the brake, we crashed brutally into a solid object. I hoped beyond hope it was inanimate, a stupid schoolboy prank, but as soon we came to a halt, the train crew piled into the driver's cabin behind my seat. It wasn't something, it was someone: a man had stepped in front of the train and killed himself.

Almost immediately, some of my fellow passengers began chuntering and muttering about the inconvenience, the delay to their vital journeys to vital meetings. Whilst a freshly dead man (or woman, for all they knew) lay on the tracks immediately outside, their only concern was their own. They had sympathy for the driver, briefly, but nothing – it seemed – for the poor person who'd decided to end their life a few minutes earlier. I found myself compelled to channel my despair.)
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