Blind Faith

A blind man got on my train home last night & politely asked for my seat. I duly got up & he sat next to my friend. He started talking & told us his daughter gave birth to twin grandsons a few hours before. We congratulated him & he said that he had 15 grandkids. ‘Wow!’, we marvelled. My friend then asked about the names of the newborns. Apparently, he muttered something about ‘Simon’ but I didn’t hear him clearly…
His grandchildren were a healthy weight, he said. ‘How much did they weigh?’, we asked. One weighed 3lbs, the other 2lbs, he replied. My eyebrows furrowed- I thought, ‘that is not healthy, that’s premature’. Then I noticed he had no white stick. If he was blind, why didn’t he have one? Then I saw there was no guide dog with him and no staff member or friend/significant other/stranger helped him onto the train. Also (and this is the best bit) he was looking straight at my friend the whole time. He kept apologising because he ‘couldn’t see’ but his eyes never wandered once. Hmm…
Anyway, the ‘blind’ man rambled on saying that his daughter was going to pick him up from the station when he got off the train so he could see his grandkids. My mind went into overdrive. The same daughter that had just given birth several hours earlier. Is he telling us that she’s going to gather her placenta together to pick him up from the station? At 10 past 10 on a Thursday night? When all the hospitals are shut to visitors? I think not.
Then he got his harmonica out & briefly played something, after which he started talking to the people opposite. I managed to get a seat as a few people got off at the station we stopped at. My friend was desperate to stop him talking to her so we had a chat about something random, anything to deflect his attention. Fortunately his stop was on the horizon so he stopped playing his harmonica (thank God!) and asked my friend to help him up. By now we were fully aware of his game (crafty sod wanted my seat, sympathy & the chance to chat shit), but he was a hefty bloke so we couldn’t really call him a charlatan without fearing his response.

And as he rose to get off the train, his jogging bottoms accidentally unveiled most of his large backside to the carriage. I sat there stunned while my friend swivelled her head my way in disgust, catching the eye of another passenger who was laughing herself silly. Once he disembarked (rather smoothly, I must say), we couldn’t stop talking about him. The word ‘bullshit’ cropped up regularly and my friend summed up the situation thus: ‘I fucking hate harmonicas anyway!’

© 2013


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