So this is how it begins is it? The story of how I die. Except it's not. Because it won't be. However much I want it I'll keep on trying, forcing myself through the ridiculous farce that is life. Is that what we all do? Meaningless snippets of stuff keep erupting in my head and I can't tell what's mine and what's not. So this is how it begins. The story of how I die. Is that a quote that's stuck in my morbid, death-obsessed mind? Or have I just thought it so many times it seems like it can't be mine? So I just force more chemicals into my blood to counteract the lack of ones that should be there and I find myself more and more removed from the rest of society, the rest of society that actually cares. I just can't see it anymore, not sure I ever could. I can't force myself to join in. never could. Join in being a teenager, join being a student, join in Generation X or what ever the under 25 zeitgeist is now. Soon I won't even be young anymore and it will all have passed me by, not because I let it but because I couldn't stop it I don't use the Internet to make friends, to further my interests or to keep in touch; I use it to fill in the blanks, to hide from myself how empty I really am. I fill my time with meaninglessnesses and trivia. I try to never be doing nothing, because I can't cope with that. Too many memories, of exclusion, of isolation and pain.

Suburbia looms up on me and claustrophobia wells. Crowds suffocate me and remind me but they also fascinate me. Who are they, where are they going? Why are they on this train at this time? The chains of coincidences that lead to here and now. The burnt toast that meant they missed the previous train, the sick child that forced them to leave work early, the funerals that necessitated cross-country journeys. The secret liaisons with past and future lovers, the divorcees collecting the kids for the weekend, the commuters and the usual mass of humanity that collects. How many other people on this train are escapees? Runners. Running from what hurts them, what destroys them but also what protects them. The shield that gets built gets thicker. Modern society is not good for people. It seems a brutal statement but it's not. Human contact is fleeting. Modern life is rubbish. Now I know that's definitely a quote that's slipped in. The grass of bank holidays in the suburbs has disrupted my senses, I can't live in the real world for long anymore. Must force it out again. Must. Must. But how long can I really survive wallowing in a pool of my own self- pity? That's what you're thinking. Oh yes I know that. I learned a long time ago not to let people in. I learned so well my shell is a nuclear bunker- 6foot thick, lead lined, titanium shielded concrete. Self contained air supply and enough food and air for. Well that's the problem isn't it? How long will my supplies last? How long till I have to come out into the nuclear winter? And let who I am, the definition of me, die. But do I have a choice? Oh so many questions. Questions without answers. Perhaps

Running, I know I'm running, I just don't know where I'm running to. I don't want to get anywhere I just want to keep on running. So I don't have to think. But I know my physics well enough to recognize that sooner or later I'll have to get somewhere and stop. This is just the first step. I am getting away and this is necessary now. Did I every really love any of them? Though how could they hurt me so if I did not.

The real world is trying to get in again and I have to fight it, though I am attempting to learn not to fight anymore, that's part of what this is about. It can't be the story of my life, that would not help, nevertheless, in some aspects at least, it must be. However much I state the genetics I believe, my life story must play a part despite my denials. To tell the story would do what I can never do and tell it someday I must. Where does that leave me? Alas more questions. The world is yet again making its way in to my real world and I gradually realise I must let it if only briefly. I prepare myself for the pain and begin to focus. I look round the carriage. Across from me is a woman reading what appears to be a Stephen king book and I look intently and hope she'll move so I can see the title but she doesn't. She has hair so dark it's essentially black. I can't tell how long as it's tied back. Her primrose blouse hurts because of its part in the things I'm running from and it's stretched slightly too tight over her breasts so I can see her sensible bra, the sort most women actually wear. Fortunately there's no-one next me, I wouldn't take the small personal space it would create. But across from the woman is a man who I know if I knew I would fall in love with. I've been there before oh god yes, maybe that's part of the problem. He was like that. I knew within 5 minutes that he'd break my heart. I didn't love him instantly, but I knew I would and I knew he would destroy me, simply by his own existence, simply by being there, giving me the ecstatic highs and suicidal lows of unrequited love. And that's it isn't it. Unrequited. I think they all were. Man looks up from his paper and smiles. If woman wasn't there, if I was blonde, if there were less people, if I sent the right signals, if.. so many ifs, he would ask for my number. We would talk. We would flirt. We would begin to touch. I'd play with my hair. He'd hide his wedding ring. Ah shit hadn't seen that till now. I look round superttiously, so I don't look nosy, and see he is smiling at a tall blonde who is walking down the carriage. She ignores him and I see on his face what I've feel all my life. The pain of rejection. Sensing, knowing and knowing and sensing they see it and know it too, subconsciously, that I'm different. The knowledge enhances the differences, the differences enhance the knowledge. And so on until the end it would seem. Blonde woman knows her role in the world, dark haired woman knows, man knows but I don't. No actually I do. I don't have one. The train is rattling onwards through the pitch black night. How bloody symbolic. It has taken me far to long to get to this beginning and yet not nearly long enough to get to the end. The journey can never end for then I would have to face the beginning, to face what I did and question, justify, explain, let the world in. I fill with fear at the thought, know that it is necessary eventually, but still I run from the inevitable. I can never agree to participate in that sort of opening-up I know I will be forced when the end comes, I can not conceal the reasons forever but I cannot let myself do anything but try.

The pinprick spotted dark country night has begun to fade to the sodium glow of suburbia. Suburbia. That which defines so many people. The dinner parties and the barbeques. The 2.4 children and the wife swapping. Does that really happen? I was never swapped. Would it have been better if I was? Would it only have intensified the inevitable or would it have made my escape less urgent less neccessaary? Would having an escape have, paradoxically, made the need to do so less?

Suburbia means city and station, more people, crowds, pain. I must keep on travelling in time as well as space to put it behind me. Man has packed up his newspaper and is fiddling with his mobile. Another modern concept I do not get. I don't want to be contactable at all times, I don't want to be contactable at all. I tolerate it, see it is essential- I'm not yet that far removed from society, but I do not enjoy it. He dials and I hear him. The conversation is stilted. But it's that of lovers or those who aspire to be. I sense it's the wife to go with the wedding ring and I know he won't be telling her about the blonde. But he's remembering her. When he gets home wife will be taken to bed and he'll make love to her but it won't be her, in his mind where making love is just a subset of sex, it'll be the blonde he's screwing. Blonde knows this. All her life she's known how she makes men feel and all her life she's exploited it. But it makes her uncomfortable, when she thinks of all the men she's flirted with going home and masturbating over her. It doesn't turn her on the way it would some women, but man's wife will benefit, man will benefit, and all the people they meet the next day will benefit. This is the way the world works.

Woman is putting her book away, shuffling around, papers folded neatly, jacket on. Train stops. Man stands but woman does not, he looks uncomfortable, increasingly desperate to get home to fuck the little fantasy he's been constructing. Slowly woman stands and gathers herself. She shuffles to the door and leaves. Man rushes afterwards glowering. I know I cannot take the new influx of people. I spread my stuff to try and keep my space. After years of my life my bag is now a mobile pharmacy and I rummage for the apportaite drug to deal with this. I find some random tablets and swallow two, hoping for some useful effect. I don't want to do this, run my life with drugs, but I cannot deal with this now

I am running, very fast. Everything is red. He is there. On top of me. I am trying to breathe, to push, to pull, to win the battle of strengths. But I can't win. And part of me does not want to. Somewhere deep inside there is still someone that loves this man, that wants him, that knows I can not have the love, but I can have the sex. Somewhere deep inside I need the pain he causes. I have learned to like it. His hot whiskey breath in my face his rough tongue across my lips. The same things he always used to do but run through a murky filter, a darker, harder, rougher version of how it was. But I still get to feel his touch, however rough it is. I still feel him inside me, however much he has to force me. He is trying to kiss me. I am lying still. There is no point in feigning sleep, he will fuck me anyway, but this way he will not interpret my behaviour as pleasure, he will not say I was leading him on, but maybe I should be. He is my husband, I should let him use me. Let him hurt me. Let him bugger me. Let him abuse me. His hand is on my breast. His full weight pressing on my nipple and he is rubbing as if, absurdly, polishing the car. I am amazed at how humour can come to me now. I can feel his penis hardening and I remember how much it used to turn me own that I could do that to him. And I still want him, I want the old him but I want him. I want inside me, I want to make him beg, make him scream, make him cry with pleasure. But I have no power over him now. His hand slides down and I prepare for the pain

I wake slowly and remain apparently asleep. I must measure and assess my new companions without return consideration. I know the beginning is near. Across from me is him. I am hallucinating it cannot be him but it is. I know that it cannot be real but I must call it as I see it. And I see him. Before. As it was. He is looking at me and I am no longer now, I am then. Our eyes lock. His hands are moving toward me, and mine to him. We touch and all the songs are true. I feel his hand on my arm fingertips as light as snow and warm as new baked bread. Slowly we kiss, like chocolate melting. I can not see or hear now, sensory overload has hit and I can only feel now. his kisses as they land like sherbet fizzing in 6 year old mouths, his hands slipping over my breasts, his fingers as they slide over my back, his chest as it presses close to mine. He lifts me onto the bed and my shirt is unbuttoned, my bra is on the floor. I He is there. On top of me. I am trying to breathe, to control the shivers through my spine, to pull him onto me, to win the battle of passions. But I can't win. He is in control. His hot breath on my neck, his tongue across my lips. He is kissing me. I am lying still and trying to stem the tide of sensation that is washing over me. His hand is on my breast. I can feel his penis hardening and I want him, I want him inside me, I want to make him beg, make him scream, make him cry with pleasure. But I have no power over him now. His hand slides down and I prepare for the pleasure to start.

The train is empty when the dephenylhdramine wears off. It is slow to go leaving it's dulling, numbing after effects behind. I feel washed out, paler, tumble dried. Life is slowly leaving me and, briefly, I feel better about what happened but I know it won't last, the drugs will wear out and I'll keep on running. I would like to say that it all made sense when I was young, that things changed, that I once believed. That forgiveness is the way to happiness. That for love to work you have to get burnt once or twice but I would be wrong. It never made sense, nothing ever changed and I have nothing to forgive.

Maybe it was even harder for me because I was always so strong, I didn't believe it was happening to me. But I was never really strong, I just seemed that way because I was indifferent, but that was because I cared too much not because I didn't care at all. The shell was never really a shell, more a two way mirror, it all got in and nothing got out. I never made a decision, I just drifted. From one thing to another, the path of least resistance. Maybe that's why in ended up with him. It's not as though he was the first, or even the last. I was just as guilty of that sin as he was. But it was just easy not to try and stop the train once it had started. Funnily enough I don't think that he was even the one I loved most, just the least unrequited.

The guard appears at the end of the carriage and my heart begins to beat faster. I have done nothing wrong, as far as he knows, I have a ticket, I have every right to be on this train, as far as he is concerned, but my chest tightens and I feel sick. What if he does, what if he knows. My heart is pounding as he draws slowly closer. I find my ticket and stick out my arm, avoiding his eyes. So what if I look guilty, it's nothing to do with him. There could be many reasons. Only I can see the blood. I do not even know what the destination on my ticket is, I simply ran as far as I could, and I'm still running He pauses and looks at me. I try and avoid his eyes, he will see the guilt there I'm sure of if. But he doesn't, he clips it and moves onward on his never-ending path.

I hear the announcement I have been dreading "...where this train terminates". Now I have to think. The night is black. It is late I have nowhere to go and nowhere to be. There will be no more trains tonight.

I walk the streets of the city. It is too cold to sleep, even I if could find somewhere. I watch the reflections of the streetlights on the pavements. Traffic lights through rain have always reminded me of Christmas. I should feel cold but I don't. I don't feel anything. I am numb, as numb as I have been all my life. On the streets around me are the others. I could have been there too and perhaps soon will be but I have been lucky. The anonymity of cities. Thousands of people in a block the size of a couple of Olympic swimming pools, but their lives are unknown to each other, and yet.in the space of hundreds of those pools two or three people, but they'll know each other's life stories. Those people who run to the country for peace for solitude, to be alone, have always made me laugh; you're never alone in a place that'll know you in genetic memory for 3 generations. No you're only alone where they don't notice you're dead for 5 weeks. I keep walking and slowly see dawn come up ahead of me.

I find myself on another train and I know now where I am running. I know where this route goes. I am going home. The one place I cannot be alone. I have finally freed myself from the one person who knew my past and my secrets, so why am I going to the only place that knows. The only place I cannot hide. I wonder if I am ready for this for the pain after all these years but I am on the train now. Do I watch and find the changes or do I sleep so I don't have to remember? Remember the pain and the lies because once I arrive that's all it will be. These people do not know me like this. They know the other me and however obvious it is they won't see this me. I know I will be found here but I'm too tired to fight now, I'm giving up, I'm going home to die.