CITY ADVENTURES

CITY ADVENTURES
By Stephanie Welles

Hell . It's raining.

I'm outside , waiting for the tram-car to come after I spent an hour at a secondhand bookstore after
school finished . They sell excellent books there , the genres varying from sweet romantic novels to war books .
I prefer the war books and as they have an excellent selection , it's not easy to pick one out . I know that the owner of the shop likes them too . Oh well , it had never led to a conservation and I'm not planning to do so
either .

Well yeah , it's raining . Very little , it's true , but it's raining enough to make some people seek for shelter in shops , or temporarily to drink a coffee in a bar . I don't feel too much of seeking for shelter against the rain and I keep on standing in the rain . Oh well .

I've been waiting for the bigger tram-car , the one that can stack a hundred of people in it without groaning , hoping to find a spare seat . I see that other one , the one that takes a detour of ten minutes from where I actually have to be , is arriving and is pretty much empty . It stands still , the driver is waiting for more people to get in and that is usually all I need to go on , as I want to read my newly bought books during the ride , but strangely enough I don't move . It leaves without me , as I still stand in the rain , holding my half-soaked through cigarette firmly between my fingers . I just stand there , waiting for that other tram-car to arrive , feeling a complete fool of myself .

Well yeah .

The pouring of the rain had slowed down a little and people were beginning to come out of the shops to the stopping-place , but some still stood there full of pride , showing that they weren't that foolish to come out and spoil their hair . Suddenly I hear him coming , my tram . It slides down the rails and it slowly stops . I head for the back of it , almost slipping out on the wet cobblestones and I can't help it but to think of Bon Jovi 's record - Slippery when wet . When I'm in , not before putting out my half smoked up cigarette and putting it in back in it's packet , I'm glad I picked out the back of the tram-car . All the way in the front , people stand packed up next to each other and are not looking so happy ; but none of them thinks of going to the back and so , I grin happily in myself .

There is no single spare seat , so I'm just obliged to stand . No chance to read my books , I think regretfully as I remember the other tram-car that I intentional missed , as I grab one of the poles that stand allover the tram , just not to fall when he starts to move again . It's is a reflex really , because others are doing just the same , some of them are missing it at the first try . It quickly rides out of the busy shopping street to calmer areas .

Only seconds after it started to ride again , I start to feel bad . It feels like being drunk . No , that's a bad description . High ; slightly high , but bad . I know that it is the movement of the tram-car that makes me queasy .

I try to tell myself that it is nothing , hoping that the feeling will pass , but it doesn't .
Instead of stopping , it grows worse . Hell , I think weakly . It isn't from the Camel cigarettes that I have smoked only minutes before , although that tends to happen when I smoke them . But it isn't . How faster the tram-car goes , how more worse I feel . It's the speed , I tell myself . The new trams always seem to make me queasy , one way or another . In the very back of the vehicle , I spot what might be a spare seat , but I don't want to make a fool of myself by walking up there and find no place at all , so I stay . When the tram stops , a blonde woman that carries seven bags with her - one is familiar , of a known shoe store - walks to the back and sits down on the very spot of which I thought to be the spare seat . Damned .

The queasy feeling has not passed over yet . It sucks to feel that way . I feel tempted to rock my body slightly , to tell my head that it isn't that bad , and I also feel tempted to rest my head against the glass , but I don't . It would look ridiculous . To my relief , I see that my final destination isn't that much far anymore . A couple of stops and I'm there .

It's Wednesday , and I hate them just as much as I do with Mondays and Fridays . Everybody hates Mondays , but I really hate the Fridays . All the tram-cars and trains are simply full , so that I have to wait another hour to take another one . Really cool , you know . I hate Wednesdays because it's all just a waste of time . It takes me thirty minutes in the morning to go from home to school , but at least an hour to go home from school .

The tram slowly reaches my stop and my body is aching to get out and take some fresh air , because that is the problem - lack of fresh air - I know that now . I'm the first one to get to the door and my left hand is ready to press the yellow button . Immediately after the vehicle stops , I push the button and I'm out .

Hastily I breathe in that gulp of fresh air that I needed so badly and I don't notice the people around me , pushing me , almost trying to squash me to the ground . I have no intention , however , to get there , so I walk along with the stream to the crossing that gets me to the gate where I should be ; and I want to cross until I suddenly hear the warning sound of another tram-car arriving out of the opposite direction . I mutter 'okay I'm warned , it's okay ' , before I step backwards and wait for the machine to pass me by .

Whatever , I think as I walk over the crossing and slowly step to my departure gate ; gate number nine , where the train should be to take me home . The bad feeling hasn't quite disappeared yet , but I'm feeling much better as I step on the escalator . The train isn't there yet ; such a certain ten minutes early , so I'm glad I don't have to wait another half an hour like last time .

My tongue feels dry and sticks painfully to my palate, so I decide to take my can of cola and drink . Only seconds after I opened it , I realize that I have an already opened bottle of lemonade in my rucksack and I curse . Maybe a little bit too loudly , because a young teenager , I think she's fourteen , disturbed looks my direction to see what's wrong . I know I won't be able to drink the whole can of lemonade before the train comes and I know I'll have to pee when I get home . Since that cystitis , I never have been quite the same again . But it doesn't matter . I take in a fairly big swallow , causing me to burp , but as I never have been any good at it , it doesn't come out very well . Good for the blonde lady , I think .

I see a spare seat , so I quickly rush to there , dropping my rucksack loudly to the ground . I wonder whether I'll get a spare seat in the train , but for now I want to sit down as I feel that my knees won't hold me any longer . I drink some more as I stare at the people of the opposite platform . All of them are rushed , rushed to go in the train , or rushed to go out . A group of four teenagers talk in all peace between the busy scene . Nobody seems to notice me , and that's the way I like it . I suddenly see that the people on my platform are getting ready and that's my sign that I should get ready too . Almost tripping over my own feet when I try to get to the ugly brown-yellow dustbin to throw my drink in there , I
hear him . The train .

I throw in the can straight into the dustbin so that none of the drink spills out before it's in there and I think I can hear the liquid splash out when the can reaches the bottom out above the roaring engines , but I know it must be imagination , because I know that I can't hear that well . As the train stops and when it's former prisoners step out I think I feel like a soldier in Vietnam must've felt after battle ; waiting for the liberating sound of the chopper to come , to take him to safer places . And only seconds after , I know that will be a feeling I can never have , but I can try .