UNDISCLOSED #5 – 25th May 2008

It is around 6.30pm.

I am in an underground railway station.

It is one of those stations with a rounded tunnel, old-fashioned and about 10 metres across the two tracks, is the other side, with identical benches and tiles and guards room. A mirror stage.

It is just past the main peak hour. There is a lull.

I am the only one on my side of the station so far.

I am still, silent.


I hear the tapping of someone’s feet and a tune whistle. I look around for the source. Finally from the far end of the opposite side a small woman appears out from the stairs. She then proceeds to walk down the whole length of the platform, singing her song, her feet tap tapping.

There is no one else, I am the sole audience in this performance.

Finally she reaches her seat, the seat she has chosen, she flops down upon it and hums a few more bars, then is silent.

In no more than a few moments I hear another sound, a swish-swish. I look up towards the opposite entrance to the platform and wait expectantly for this new player. This time another woman emerges, tall, with wide jeans. It is these jeans that make a special swish-swish sound. The sound echoes around the tunnel, fills it up. The woman is unaware of the aural interplay and as if on cue, the other woman starts to hum a few strains once again. The swish woman, proceeds down the platform and sits on the next seat up from the humming woman.

Before she makes it to her seat another sound fades in. This time it is the scrunchy-scrunchy beat of a laden plastic bag as it bounces in rhythm to its owners step. A large woman in a floral dress appears and joins the procession down the platform. Her chosen seat two up from the last woman.

Hum-hum, swish-swish, scrunchy-scrunchy swish.

As the scrunchy lady heads down the platform another is heard to be entering, this one is neat crisp click-click shoes.

This woman enters the soundscape, click-click, metronome down the platform, click-click, neat black two piece,  past the scrunchy-scrunchy lady and onto the seat between her and swishy-swish lady.

She is followed closely by shuffle lady, shoe shuffle, soft shoe shuffle, down the platform.

Clickety-click, scrunchy-scrunch, soft shuffley-shuffle, hum-hum.

Clickety-click opens her bag and pulls out a crackelly bag of crispy-crisps,

Scrunchy lady sits with her scrunchy bags and scrunches around opening a scratchy packet of biscuits.

Soft shoe shuffle passes scrunchy and sits next to clickety-click, pulling out a book, flick-flick.

Now there is no steps, just hum- hum, flick-flick, crackelty-crack, scrunchy-crunch, swish.

This has been an amazing performance so far!

I have been the audience.

My performance today has been about being the audience, the witness.

There has been no one on my side to witness this, just me.

Up till now, there has only been women players, there is a calm intention. A deliberate delivery. An impeccable execution.

This does not last for long now, the show is reaching a climax as the chorus performers enter  and a train rumbles onto centre stage, a fortissimo drowning out the solos. There is a loud speaker, a recorded message, a flurry and suddenly all is swept away with the trains departure. After the distant rumbling a calm settles once again upon the stage.

It is empty now.

The cycle is about to re start.

The audience on my side has grown, there is an expectant air of pre show anticipation.

Shuffle-shuffle, scrape, crunch, cough, tap tap, sigh.


~ by jvulcan on February 15, 2009.

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