Dedicated to anyone who has ever boarded a National Express coach and reluctantly taken a particular seat when a preferable one was also available
Oh, Deptford Goth fan (on the last National Express Coach back from London),
As you may recall, we had briefly begun a conversation
In the queue before boarding the coach,
Where you had told me you had gone to see someone called Deptford Goth.
I had said, “Who?” a couple of times
Before telling you that I’d just been to see the Pixies. You’d said “Good choice.”
I had anticipated we might then sit near each other on the coach,
And continue our conversation,
But as I expect you gathered,
A couple I vaguely knew appeared as if by magic behind me,
And started telling me about how they’d just been to see Fleetwood Mac.
As we boarded the coach, I fumbled around for my ticket,
Eventually having to go on last because of this.
By this time, most of the seats had been taken,
But there was one in front of you,
And also one across the aisle from the couple I vaguely knew.
Due to a peculiar sense of obligation, I felt compelled to take this seat.
I was seething inside at this choice, but I sat it out.
Internally, I directed my anger at the couple,
Who in truth were blameless, and if anything,
Probably would have preferred it if I hadn’t taken this seat.
I in fact then said not a word to them the entire journey,
As in the darkness, they played with phones,
Rifled through their Fleetwood Mac commemorative programme,
And later spent a fair bit of the time snogging
(see bit about them preferring me not to have taken the seat I did).
I just listened to my MP3 player,
And the 3 albums I had stored on it, ie.
“Substance” by New Order
“Nouveau Niveau (Disc 1)” by Tom Novy
And “More Light” by Primal Scream, plus the song they put out for Record Store Day, their excellent cover of “City Slang” by Sonic’s Rendezvous Band.
I had thought of swapping seats,
But decided that would either be silly or just strange,
So I just sat tight, as if imprisoned by two inadvertent jailors.
You didn’t even get off at the same stop, so I couldn’t say hi as I disembarked
(dramatically almost falling down the stairs).
Had I spoken to you again, I might have asked more about what Deptford Goth is like.
I did Youtube him later, and he looked quite good.
That’s not the same though, of course.