Shit, this is going to be awkward.
But it has to be done.
I tenuously approach the sleeping figure. The carriage lurches to the side and I have to stop myself falling right onto their lap. They seem undisturbed by the rocking, violent veering of the train. I reach out and tap them gently on the shoulder and say excuse me in my politest voice. They murmur and smack their lips before rolling over slightly. I prod them with slightly more force, and again say excuse me with overt politeness. They are roused this time. They blink and look at me through bleary eyes.
‘Is this my stop?’
‘Er no. Sorry to do this but I have to ask you to move for a moment.’
‘What? No way, I’m not giving up my seat. If you want a warm seat you sit on one for a while like we all have to.’ They look up and down the carriage, ‘Where are we anyway?’
‘Erm, we’re…’ I glance out the window but it’s too dark to see anything, so instead I try to guess based on the time we’ve been travelling for, ‘probably near Reading?’ I state with a rising inflection.
‘You asking me for?’ They scowl and make a point of settling deeper into their seat. ‘Waking me up for no good reason. Let me know when we get to Plymouth.’
‘I’m not going to Plymouth ma’am.’ I breathe in and put extra squeeze on my polite muscle. ‘I really don’t like to have to do this, but I would be tremendously obliged if you could move for one moment. You can have your seat back again right away.’
She eyes me like I’m a door-to-door salesman but reluctantly moves over to the seat next to her. She watches me with interest as I move in close to the seat.
Aha, there it is, just as I suspected. I peel the pallid sheet away from the seat. It’s warm and flat from the lady’s arse being on it for however long. I hear her mutter something but it’s inaudible over the noise of the wheels speeding along the track. I hold the leathery piece of material in my hands like a cloth and raise it to my head. I feel it stick against the muscular tissue of my cheeks and forehead and I work the corners in around my nose and eyes. I nod a thanks to the woman. She rolls her eyes with a huff and moves back to her seat to resume sleeping.
Right, that’s my face accounted for. Now, what did I do with my kidneys?
I have left parts of me strewn across space and time on many occasions. Not in a metaphysical sense, but in actuality. As my life has progressed I have diminished greatly. I look gross to be honest. It started when I was eight.
I stayed at my Grandparent’s for a weekend in the summer holidays, as we often did, and when I got home I realised I had left my bladder there. I got it back eventually, but I had to wait three months because, as mum said “Felix Munroe,we are not driving two hundred miles just to pick up a sack for piss.” She made me wear nappies while I went without a bladder.
When I was nine my dad left with my left leg, penis, and right nipple. I had to get prosthetic replacements.
My heart, and yeah, I know this is cliché, but fuck. I gave it away to an ex. The bitch said she torched it but I reckon she cuddles up with it at night really. I doubt I’ll ever get that back now. She left because of the penis thing.
You already know where my face was. That was a mistake after a drunken night out last week. I’m just glad it got squashed down onto the seat so I could find it again. I was really worried that somebody would take it to use as a Leatherface Halloween costume. People have been giving me weird looks since I lost that.
What else did I lose? Oh yeah, my tongue. That fell out when I was giving a speech in my English class back when I was… eleven? Well, however old you are in year seven. Maybe I was twelve. Anyway, the teacher was disgusted and threw it in the bin. I had learned sign language before I finally found it again. It turned out that after class the dirty slut had taken it out of the bin and had been using it for some… extra-curricula activities. Needless to say, I washed my mouth out with soap when I got it back, she was a very strange flavour indeed.
Oh yeah, another thing I lost at school, this one when I was sixteen, was my brain. I know right?! How the hell do you lose a brain? Well, it helps if you have ridiculously insane friends and access to the workshop during the lunch hour. I still can’t recall how I came to recover it. But I woke up and I was eighteen and still had to finish secondary school. That joke backfired.
I just remembered where my kidneys are. They came out in a pub in Bangor when I was at uni there. Jesus, I doubt they’re still there now. I have to check though; it’s really been difficult these last few years, colostomy bags and dialysis machines and urinary infections galore. Oh, in case you’re wondering, they fell out when some guy said he was going to punch me in the kidneys and I said I’d like to see him try.