/ Prose

Victoria Station

Pain and confusion filled his ancient old face

Just watched a guy being helped off the floor outside the toilets and cash machines in Victoria Station. A friend and a couple of passers-by knelt over him. They pulled him slowly up off the floor. He had collapsed heavily to the ground. He was a tall, slight man wearing a suit. He still held his umbrella in his hand. As all this unfolded as the inane recorded announcement came over the tannoy,

“If you’re not feeling tip-top, remain at the station…feeling better, together…”

The man's face was red and sweaty. His eyes confessed the shock. Eventually, he hobbled forward towards his train with the help of another person holding him up by the arm.

Moments before, an old white-haired gentleman passed out against the wall near the toilets on the other side of the concourse was receiving a verbal seeing-to. A man in a suit with a lanyard around this neck stood over him and kept saying,

“Get up! Get up! You. You there! Get up!”

I wondered if he was a member of the station staff or just a passing traveller unable to stand indolence. The old man was red-faced and sweating profusely - likely from the drink - and sported a scruffy denim jacket and jeans. Pain and confusion filled his ancient old face. His eyes flickered reluctantly open at the tirade. People wearing black vests emblazoned with the word 'Security' can be seen coaxing the homeless away from the station and its surrounding buildings. I wonder where they think they will go.