I tell you, I don’t know what London is coming to these days.
This morning on my way to work, I was sitting on the Tube reading The Stand when this guy sits down on the seat next to me. It’s really crowded, as the Piccadilly line usually is, and there’s a woman with a walking stick who the young man had to push past to get this seat. I remember thinking how rude, and was trying to decide whether to say something when I notice this guy’s hand…
His hand is peeling – I mean, it looks like he’s been savaged by a dog or something. The wound is fresh – the blood I can see in it is really raw, and I can see a kind of sludgy blackness at the edges, like rot. I’m totally transfixed; there’s pus in that wound, but the guy shows no sign of pain – when I try to look at his face, I see he’s got the hood of his jacket pulled well down so I can’t see anything. And then I realise he’s picking at the wound, like tearing at it with his fingers, pulling off little bits of flesh. So I sit there, like a true Brit, pretending I can’t see and reading the same passage of my book over and over, but then I realise he’s eating the flesh. He’s pulling little strands of flesh off his own hand and lifting them into the darkness of his hood. And when he lowers his hand again, it’s empty, except for the scarlet stain of his blood.
I’m so grossed out by this point that I have to lift the book up to my face so I can’t see anything.
Then the guy starts muttering under his breath, chanting, and though I can’t hear what he’s saying, every time he draws in a breath, I can actually hear the suck of his saliva, as though he’s drooling like a rabid dog or something.
Luckily my stop has come, so I get off the Tube quick style and join the throng heading to the escalators.
I’ve just put my foot on the bottom of the escalator when I hear people shouting behind me, so I look round and I see this joker pushing his way through the crowd. At first I think he’s elbowing people out of the way, but then I see he’s grabbing at people with his bloody hands, and they’re having to cringe out of his path.
I’m not going to wait around while he passes on whatever disease he’s got, so I run up the escalator. When I reach the top, I see a group of British Transport Police heading in the other direction, but they’re too bloody slow. I’m just putting my ticket into the barrier when that crazy joker sweeps past me, vaults over the barriers and sprints out into the street.
Behind me, I hear people laughing and I know that, in five minutes, all of this will be forgotten. That’s how London is, right? I see some of the people are talking to station staff, saying the guy tried to bite them, and one woman is upset because some of the man’s drool fell onto her daughter’s face.
So I shrug it off and head in to work, and when I get to the security gate, I see a huddle of people clustered around the guard who normally checks our ID cards. He’s on the floor, and I have to tell you, my stomach turned when I saw he had this massive bloody gash on the side of his cheek. Then i see the hooded joker from the station being held back by two more security guards. They’ve pulled off his hood and now I can see his face…
This guy looks like he hasn’t eaten in about a year; I can actually see his bones sticking through his skin, and his eyes are scarlet globes. Lines of drool are dripping out of each corner of his mouth and there’s a red stain on his chin.
That stain is blood. This joker has been biting people.
The security guard is going into spasms on the floor. I’m not going to stick around and gawk like it’s a TV show, so I head on into work.
That’s enough drama for me for one day. Hopefully things will get back to normal now.