Gospel Oak to Barking 

Gospel Oak to Barking 

Eden Dodd (she/her)

Thursday, 16.28. 

He sits on the train, Smirnoff Ice in hand. Cargo trousers dress a man with a tired face. 

The 4% suggests no intention to be drunk and sobered movements shift his seat. 

An arm rises up, and down, infrequent but familiar in its motion – lap to lips to lap to lips to lap to lips.

Perhaps a wind-down after work? Pensive. 

A white shirt and tie hide beneath a jacket and hoodie, smart casual. 

The bottle ends, he lulls in the warmth provided by the 70cl escape from a dreary day. 

A hand reaches into a blue plastic bag, newsagent fresh, and returns with a blue bottle.

The man rubs the contents vigorously into his hands and then into his face.

A bewildered beauty regime – vodka tainted breath meets Nivea Fresh. 

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