The girl with the scarlet red hair

Yesterday, I watched a girl being talked down from a railway bridge. Not my usual morning wakey wakey to you all, I know, but let’s go with reasons to be miserable for a day.

I was waiting at Durham station for a train back to London, and a girl with scarlet red hair just strolled off down the track and started mooning about staring over the edge of the great viaduct that carries you in and out of the city.

It caused a flurry of activity among the fluorescent-jacketed station staff, and the peaked-capped, uniformed men all blew their whistles like life and death’s stern referees.

Then they got sucked into this sort of dance where, every time someone made to approach her, she hoisted herself a little way further up the iron fence that’s supposed to stop trains not people careering over the edge.

Eventually she was straddling the thing, with one leg swung right over the top of it, and two fists clenching around the topmost rail all that stopped her from dropping to the street below like a horse-drawn Zeppelin.

Then the police showed up & did their well-trained thing, which seed to entail getting close enough to give her a big hug, and then sort of cuddling her back to safety.

What was weirdest about the whole thing was the reaction of everyone else on the platform. One man walked up to the point at which the clutch of fluorescent jackets were doing their spellbound jostling and snapped a photograph.

“I’ve got a four-hour journey home,” said a woman in a red coat. Then, with a disdainful curl of her lip, she added, “The selfish bitch.”

“Get on with it!” she shouted at the girl. And a lot of people slapped each other’s backs and laughed heartily.

~ by David Thorley on October 5, 2010.

2 Responses to “The girl with the scarlet red hair”

  1. Don’t be so fast to criticise, maybe the red-coated woman was on her way to a Low gig.

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