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Do you know the feeling of getting really deep into a good book? So deep you forget about what life looks like outside of the pages. Reality changes into a new story you have dived into and now that is all you know. It’s a fucking good feeling. Roald Dahl always manages to get me into that zone.

Train rides have become a lot more interesting since I entered book life. I just visited my family and got on the 30 minute train home to Brussels, perfect to finish the short story I was reading. I threw my bike and bags in the middle compartment, the in between bit without seats, where the exit doors are and where I could be in peace with my bike and book. I sat down on the ground and got into the story.

Just as the doors were closing, a man walked into the compartment and stayed. Why is he staying here? I thought, because many seats were still available and I wanted to read in peace. I just gave him my ‘don’t annoy me, I’m reading’ look and moved on to the book. I was so into it, it was only after 15 minutes I realised the dude was still there, standing on the other side, staring out of the window.

I looked over and saw him scratching his balls. How delightful. Maybe he thought I was so mesmerised by my book I wouldn’t notice him giving his balls a good old scratch. I was, but now for some reason, I couldn’t focus on the story anymore and gave the man a long stare. He was still touching his junk, not in a quick scratch kinda way, but in a repetitive pulling manner that made me vomit in my mouth.

Good thing I don’t vomit so I barfed words out instead. "Excuse me, do you speak English?" I started off in my polite voice. He nodded so I yelled out “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?” I looked at him in utter disgust, especially staring at his hand pulling on his dick. He continued and said, “oh nothing, just this” and looked down at what he was doing.

I made the eye roll of a lifetime and told him to stop and go pull your dick somewhere else. He mumbled something about too many people on the train and I was about to cut his dick off (in my mind more than in real life, I didn’t have a pair of scissors with me) when the train stopped and even more people got on and stayed in the compartment formerly known as the “reading in peace” spot which quickly became the masturbation central for lost boys.

A compartment filled with men didn’t seem to turn him on that much, so he found other things to do and I got back to my book. Strangely every word I read said ‘fucking dickhead’ and I wanted to scream it out so bad, but I didn’t. The longer you pull on your dick in public, the more power you gain, something like that? The more uncomfortable and pissed off you make the woman who shares the same space, the more of a man you are?

At that moment you shut my mouth, but my pen remains sharp. As will be the scissors I’ll carry with me next time.

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