I was on the mobile hooked into a conference call to the guys in Boston, while I was on the way to the airport.
“What’s that ?” I said. I looked out the train window and through the gloom and sheets of rain coming down, I heard “……could…….be……………..never…………..when……………manufacture……Shanghai..”
“You know guys there is something wrong, I don’t know if it is the rain or what, but could you get closer to the mic.” I said
“Chris, if you just mute your ….., you should be able to…er” – came back
“OK OK. I think you said mute… but I don’t know how to mute the phone, it’s a blackberry” I said
I looked at the blackberry, water all over it, in my wet hand, with my suit still dripping water on the floor, sitting forlornly in the grey of the train light.
“Sure just ….. top of the phone… mute key – just…. when you want to talk … press …. you’ve …..” I think it was Sam who said that.
OK – fumbling around with the phone – found the mute key pressed it a couple of times…
da-dink – di-da, seemed to toggle a couple of tones…
As I re-joined the call, I settled down a bit, listening to the boys at the other end of the line.
Outside the world was rapidly darker into the morning. The train was moving, slowly. I still had time though. We passed the old disused car yard near Redfern. Torrential spouts of water were there flowing down out into the concrete as we passed by. A lady standing by me, was quietly looking past me, with a kind of I’m ok, but there is something really bad happening just outside. Naturally I thought first of the rain, no, perhaps the blackberry, but since I was on mute, it could not be that.. I turned back to close focus and saw what she saw.
Second Fragment – I am She
The rain was really coming down, and as the train pulled in, I had run to the first carriage off the stairwell. The doors opened as the announcement was made. My coat was ok, but my hair was all wet through from seconds crossing the gap. I got in, but all the seats were taken. Wet people. No one with newspapers any more. iPhones and Tablets instead live breaking the news. So I took off to the left, just outside the toilet, where there is a gap. There was a guy in a suit, fiddling with his blackberry, trying to listen, and talk and had obviously chosen this uncomfortable location, so he could use his phone. He had some strange bags, a normal looking briefcase, and a big heavy carbonate case with Fragile stickers and Security cleared stuck all over it.
The doors closed and we were rolling. I looked over at him, he was talking and listening, but mainly looking out at the weather. Water was dripping off his suit, onto his blackberry with it’s little blue light winking as a reflection in the window. I thought on his profile, also reflected in the window. It might be good to get to know him then. Perhaps I could say Hi. He was on the phone though. I pulled out my phone and thought.. Perhaps I could just take a picture of him for later. Dumb idea. I pressed the bluetooth setup and scanned around the area. A phone name came up – Ferdinand – could it be his phone ?
The rain was coming down fast and noisy outside the carriage. He was having trouble hearing and was fiddling around with the ‘mute’ key, perhaps learning how it worked.
I looked carefully at his suit, it was made of a nice material, but all covered in water, and dripping down. He seemed totally oblivious to the water though, listening and laughing on the phone, with his hand and phone still water all over them.
OK, so I took his picture, it was easy, he didn’t notice me at all, even though I could have reached out and touched him, his wet clothes and hair perhaps. Never mind, I could find him again one day, I had his bluetooth id and I had a photo, even though it showed him laughing all wet and scary. I quicky renamed the image ‘Ferdinand’ so I could remember.
Just then I leaned back on the window, the rain gushing down from the car sheds, and all over the concrete outside the train. I looked over at him and he glanced at me, and then looked outside through the window. His eyes got all close focussed and an astonished look on his face. I quickly glanced down at my phone, with his picture on it. I started blushing and smiling, I couldn’t help it when I realised that he saw, his picture on my phone reflected in the glass behind me.