That’s a little inappropriate…

Lurching home in a stop-start train on the first hot, still Friday after winter.

When 3 glue-crazed youths decided that arson was the correct response to “Can I see your ticket?” they didn’t realise that it would mean immediate jail for them. Or that it would turn a 30-minute journey into a 2-hour long hot and airless nightmare for the rest of us.

In truth, if they did know would they have even cared? Only if one of their aunts/moms/older sisters (who are all on my train at one time or another) had the gift of pre-knowledge. I can feel the *SNAP* of that smack upside the back of their heads right now, and hear: “Wat dink d’jy DOEN d’jy?!”

But I’m accessing a memory file from long ago – before tik, before nyope – back before everyone had a gun. Sure, everyone had a knife, but who stabs their aunt on a Thursday afternoon? Thing with guns and tik: you shoot your aunt by accident, so she learns not to smack you upside the back of the head, or to ask you what the hell you think you’re doing.

And so you learn that burning your family and neighbours’ only means of transport to work is an appropriate response to a ticket-collector saying “No”. I guess when that happens, all bets are off. I mean: after this, how do you respond when you want sex and a girl says “No”?

* tik – meth
* nyope – nightmare mix of marijuana, low-grade heroin and antiretroviral meds.

train burning1 (pic from


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