‘What are you grinning at mister?’
‘Hello,’ I replied.
Two girls sat down on the bench, one either side and a third stood in front of me. I was staring at the commuters cramming themselves on to the steady stream of underground trains.
The evening before I’d been chatting with Tommy about the class structure, trying to find out more about why the upper classes run around picking up the shit of their middle class companions. He’d told me to have a look at the morning rush hour. ‘They’re not very sophisticated you know. You should see ’em, packing themselves on to those cattle wagons they call underground trains.’
So there I was, sitting on the bench and grinning, as the assertive young lady had pointed out.
It was crazy. Thousands of the upper classes were shoving their way on to trains. Off to spend the day scurrying around and having every ounce of energy squeezed out of them. Off to earn enough money to make their frantic lives bearable. Have you noticed that those right at the top – businessmen, politicians and scientists – view everything as a machine? They see you as a widget that can be made to work sharper so they can win their global competition.
It’s so different where I come from. We help each other become well-rounded holistic beings rather than driving each other to make our flesh more efficient. Although, we do enhance our bodies with additional organs or redesigned limbs or even take drugs that make us better at what we do. But, that’s all geared to give us the time and space to nurture our souls.
The girl kicked me. ‘Hey purple man. I asked you a question.’
‘You’re weird,’ she said with a mix of anger and fear. ‘You purple weirdo!’
The other two deliberately jostled me as they stood up. ‘Purple creep,’ one of them shouted as they turned their backs to me and strutted along the platform. They wouldn’t know, but my purple tinge was the result of a failed enhancement. Nobody back home would have mentioned it. We know that sometimes experiments go wrong.
The girls disappeared round the corner and my two hearts slowed to their normal beat.