The Hot Corner

171. 6.30pm. Bottom deck, back right.

Summer has arrived, at long last and, in typical London-fashion, all of a sudden. Everyone is overdressed.

Humans are just like any other living thing. Put us in an enclosed space and heat us up very quickly, and odd reactions take place.

A large woman was fanning herself desperately near the front. I was sitting in the Hot Corner (right by the engine, and far from a blessed open window), penned in by a man with no hair but very long legs and a woman with braids who had her elbow out – she was on her phone. ‘It’s about repentance… It makes me wonder – I know, I’m burning up, I’m sitting right on top of the engine… He is trying three churches at the moment but he doesn’t seem to have the fire in him… Exactly. People don’t understand you have to have an open heart…’ My foot accidentally touched hers in our small shared space. ‘Well I think he has to find his way – Excuse me!’ She shot me a death-stare.

‘Sorry.’ Jesus, lady, it was an accident.

She turned back to her conversation. ‘Jesus needs soldiers, the ministry of the Lord needs soldiers…’

Well, I’m saying it was the heat but perhaps this woman was just a Christian who missed the whole ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ memo. Either way, she got off at the next stop to carry on the Lord’s fight in the cool May breeze, and I spread out my legs.

It’s only going to get hotter…


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