Toni Obee

Platform 3

So, there I was standing on platform 3
When this bloke elbows me in the side.
Annoyed, I said to him "Oi, you just elbowed me in the side"
He glared at me and said in a snide way
"Shouldn't a got in my way love"

We boarded the train heading for Nuneaton, jostling and shoving our way in.
Desperation and perspiration as we try to get a seat.

So… I spot a seat 3 rows in and single-mindedly I make a bee line,
Only elbow man sees it too and the race is on.
"Scuse me, sorry, coming through",
I'm almost at the tape when elbow man throws his battered briefcase into the empty seat and gives me a smug 'I won' kinda look.
'Tosser' I think to myself
as I resume my standing position in the heaving aisle.

"Crisps, snacks, coffee, tea". Yeah, right
As if the tea trolley has a cat in hell's chance of getting through this lot.
I really can not breathe in any more.

The greasy looking chap to the right of me
Still stinks of yesterday's sweat and I try not to gag and vomit
into his already bulging carrier bag.

His fault if I do though, as my nose is plunged into his armpit
every time the train bumps and jumps,
And he clings on gibbon-like to the overhead handrail.

The next person that stands on my toe will get an earful,
of that I am certain.
But British to the end I merely smile and say "No problem" as yet another metatarsal crunches beneath a hefty pair of size 11's.

Great. Stuck at a bloody signal. Typical.
After a lifetime waiting for some fast train to pass us
at a million miles an hour we are finally pulling into the station.

I remember hearing elbow man telling a fellow passenger
he wanted this stop
And I notice with a huge amount of pleasure
and the biggest of smiles spreading across my face,
That he has only gone and nodded off.


Elephant in the Room

There was this elephant
Sat in my room
And madness was his name
He was ignored by everyone
But he sat there all the same.

There was this elephant
Sat in my room
As big as big can be
No one asked why he was there
As if they couldn't see.

There was this elephant
Sat in my room
Sadness written all over his face
People dismissed his indulgence
But still he sat firm in his place.

There was this elephant
Sat in my room
To be understood was his hope
But all the visitors walked on by
And he was left alone to cope.

There was this elephant
Sat in my room
Jangled with nerves all affray
He wanted to feel unashamed,
And for the stigma to go away.

There was this elephant
Sat in my room
If you see him just ask "how d'ya do?"
For one day in the future this elephant
Might just belong to you!


'I have had many 'labels' since I have been 'in the system' but my most recent diagnosis and probably most accurate is schizoaffective disorder. I also suffer from chronic depression and have tried not to let my illness define me but the stigma has always been there. Writing has often times given me a voice when no one would listen. My highlight so far has been performing in the Brighton Comedy Festival and working with the fabulous John Hegley.'