Have you ever fainted?
I saw it happen many times at secondary school – usually in assemblies when someone would keel over. It was quite comical, though not really, as it can be dangerous for the poor person who has actually unknowingly fallen over.
Although I often felt faint, I never blacked out. Sometimes, I would feel sick and need to sit down, take a few breaths and allow the wave of nausea to pass. This would happen on school trips, where you’re traipsing around, following a group and having to listen and concentrate on what someone is telling you whilst trying to answer questions on a sheet. Something like that. Occasions where perhaps the room was hot and we were had to wear our coats.
There was one time, though when I was on a packed commuter train heading to London, where I worked at the time. I don’t remember feeling particularly unwell that day, but it was cold and I had lots of layers on. The train was so full that I had to stand and in addition, we were forced to move in to the main carriage, so I was hovering over the people who had been lucky enough to get a seat.
Anyone who commutes will know that no one raises their heads on the train, or indeed at any point during their morning routine of getting to work. It’s very much everyman for himself.
On this particular day, I felt myself get hotter and hotter and was trying desperately not to focus on the windows as they continued to steam up. I couldn’t move, so was unable to take my coat off and I doubt anyone would have noticed how ill or green I may have looked. That is, they wouldn’t have known at all had I not…
Yes, if you want to get a seat on a packed commuter train, all you have to do is fall on the floor, as the next thing I knew, I was sitting on a seat wondering what the hell had happened.
A couple of people had picked me up and put me on a seat, kindly giving theirs up for me. Everyone else stayed unmoving, though they may have raised their eyebrows in disgust at my causing a disruption, however short that was.
Yes, the kind people who bothered to help me that day were a rare breed in commuter land I’m afraid. It just isn’t the done thing to express any interest in anyone around you during your morning trip to work.
Thankfully I haven’t fainted since.
This post is a 10 minute free-write using the writing prompts from Cheryl Strayed. I used ‘The Kindness of Strangers’ as my prompt for this post.
Thanks to Eli from Coach Daddy Blog for alerting me to this challenge.
Sharing this for What I’m Writing.