Friday, 31 May 2019
Reading time 01 minutes 31 seconds
They say in heaven, love comes first we’ll make heaven a place on earth – Belinda Carlisle
Daily commute. Everyone is shuffling to the barriers and as normal I’m away with the fairies. An older lady stops dead in her tracks right in front of me and we collide.
The barrier had rejected her ticket and I was so close to her that you would have struggled to put that rejected ticket between us. We weren’t invading one another’s personal space but we had merged that space into something neither of us had asked for or wanted. I tapped the electronic reader with my card and as the gates opened I indicated for her to walk through and I quickly followed.
She smiled in gratitude and a gorgeous gold front tooth caught the light and twinkled. Her authoritarian Caribbean tinged accent broke the silence as she announced “You’ll never go to heaven” to which I issued the standard response “at least I’ll be in good company”. She laughed, I laughed. We had shared a beautiful moment and then both went our separate ways.
My brain re-engaged and it all started to go wrong as I processed her comment.
Why would I not go to heaven? We hadn’t broken the law and surely the very nature of assisting her had given me a ‘Do Not Pass Go collect £200’ ticket straight to the front of pearly gates. I’d been the good guy here and heaven was the least I deserved. As I stood there getting irate the irony struck me that I don’t believe in heaven, BUT I do believe in justice and I had been wronged. I could not, and would not, let this stand, so I ran back to get an explanation but failed to find her.
As is the norm I obsessed over the injustice of it all and over the following days I timed my journeys to be in the exact same place, so I could ask what she meant. That’s two mornings I’m never seeing again.
As I waited at the gate I cursed and then blasphemed. Perhaps she was right and I’m not getting into heaven, but if her ticket skills are anything to go by neither is she.
Picture: Inspiring T-shirts again