It’s been 4 months, and it was bound to happen at some point – I officially have had the most bizarre experience on the London Underground and I am happy to report that it was not as scary as I thought it would be. Apart from the blood involved. And the man. And the tube full of people. And that I can’t stand the sight of blood.
Intrigued? Well, I hope so because I don’t think I can top this story.
It was a regular Monday morning in December, the sky was grey and it was drizzling outside. Days like this usually call for a sullen mood and the ominous feeling of a long day ahead, but not this Monday. I was up early and ready to tackle the week – last week before Christmas holidays! Ah, that feeling of excitement when you feel like nothing can rain on your parade – not even the bloody rain. So I decided to wear my turquoise scarf and stand out that day (irrelevant but nice bit of information).
Got to the station, it’s around 5-7 minute walk from my flat in London. The train was on time, no delays despite the weather and everything was looking up. I didn’t get splashed on the way and my hair appeared to have survived the drizzle outside. For the first time in ages, I managed to get myself a seat on the tube. It was one of those seats which are at the end, next to the rear doors with that glass panel thing next to them. I was quite pleased with myself for getting the seat considering that the carriage was quite full.
The only problem I had this morning was that I had forgotten my book and my headphones at home. This meant that I was to stare aimlessly into nothing until I got off at my stop. Usually I would be very annoyed by this, but in retrospect, had I been wearing headphones, I would not have heard the sound of drops.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
At first I thought it was someone’ umbrella dripping near me, but on closer inspection, I realized there was a small pool of blood – yet blood – right next to me. My eyes followed the source of the drops, and what I saw made me queasy.
Now remember, I was sitting on the seat next to the glass panel. On the other side of the panel, there was a man in a suit. Looked completely normal, except for the fact that he was holding onto the pole with a bloody hand. There was blood all over his fingers, down his hand and on the pole. The blood was sliding off the pole and falling onto the little space between the pole and the glass panel. The glass panel – where I am sitting.
So once I realized what the dripping was and where it was coming from, I am in a state of confusion and fear. This man looked indifferent to the situation, staring blankly into space. So I am looking at the blood, and then at him, and then the blood, and then him again. Meanwhile – no one else in the tube has realized this. Or maybe they did but thought it was inappropriate or impolite to say something. Another guy standing across this man notices what me looking at the blood and the man, and he smiles at me. Smiles. Who does that?!
In my mind I am debating, do I tell him or should I remain passive? I’ve never been the passive type, so the logical thing is to tell this man. But then I think of all the worst case scenarios. What if he just killed someone and is on the run. But then why would he be wearing a suit? What if he shoots me because I pointed at his blood? So – as you can imagine, a lot is going on inside my head… but I just can’t let it go.
Pulling myself together, for there is a whole lot of blood next to me right now, I clear my throat and say:
“Excuse me Sir, but your hand is bleeding”
And with that, I smile at the man and hope for the best. It took him a while to understand that I was indeed speaking to him, because people don’t usually talk to each other on the underground in London. He looks at his hand and his eyes widen in shock. OMG – How did this happen?!
Well, you tell me. I found a tissue in my bag and handed it to him, after which my stop came and I got off the tube. Everyone stared at me as I became the girl who told the man he was bleeding, something that you never do apparently.
This episode made me very uncomfortable because I came to realize that no one in London really cares. They will let whatever happen and not even flinch – even if it’s just pointing the obvious. This man had obviously hurt himself but hadn’t realized, and had been bleeding for God knows how long until I pointed it out to him. Yes, this is a weird example to go by, but where is the love people?!