It was 8:45am. The No.63 bus was packed full of morning commuters trying to get comfortable in their seats. Some were getting back to where they were before the alarm rang (their heads mostly banging off the window with every turn in the road), some were away in another world with their music and others were engrossed in their Kindles. People doing their own thing. It doesn’t even surprise me anymore when someone pulls out a Bible from their handbag to read on the way to work.
What did weird me out ever so slightly on this jolly jaunt was when the middle-aged chick in front of me whipped out three magazines and placed them on her lap. Not quite so weird yet, I know, but I will get to that… She then looked at them all, thought for a minute, and finally decided on what order she would attack them in.
Finalised reading schedule:
1st read: Woman’s Weekly
2nd read: The National Enquirer
3rd read: Real Crime – A Summer Special…
She started to rush through the first magazine (not surprised, I think my toilet paper is of better quality). The National Enquirer didn’t last that much longer than Woman’s Weekly (no surprise there). Here’s the worrying thing. The third read, yes, Real Crime (Summer Special) kept her interest for the remaining 12minutes I had on that bus. No page was left unturned. Her finger followed every line and paragraph.
I had to look to my left and right to see if anyone else had noticed her fascination with people being nailed to staircases, heads trapped by closing windows and cars being hijacked by thugs armed with nothing more than an infected needle…
She was smiling, too.
I live in the South East of London where there are lots of shady stories of various goings on. I don’t worry too much when I have to walk back from the train station at night, I don’t worry too much when I walk past or through a group of male hoodies and I don’t worry too much when I pass the man with 22 off-leash Staffordshire bull terriers. I was however, slightly worried that I was sitting on a bus with a woman who probably features in most of the articles written and is possibly sniggering away quietly to herself knowing that she is Peckham's most wanted and going completely unnoticed.