Galium aparine (Huggy-me-close) (2002)

clothing, burrs
Galium aparine (Huggy-me-close)
Galium aparine (Huggy-me-close)
photos: julia calver ©

When we get on the train, Julia is advised not to sit in her seat by an already seated man.  She would be sitting next to his little boy who has chicken pox.  But there is nowhere else for her to sit.  We feel uncomfortable.  The bag guarding the seat is moved and Julia sits down.

Across the aisle, the man opposite me sits well back in his seat.  He touches my foot by mistake and apologises quickly.

Later Julia tells me there was a whole patch of burrs on the bag that the man had reluctantly moved.  She had seen me brush against it as I put our bags up.  The little boy had noticed and tried to pick them off.  His mum was cross and told him to leave it; she said that the burrs were probably from the floor.

When we had talked about it, Sarah had said that passing on the burrs was like passing on germs and people might not like it.  I said yes, a bit like when people spit on you by mistake. 

Some people start to chat to people they don’t know.  A young woman sitting opposite an old gentleman is explaining mobile phones to him.  “10p a message.”  “Has it got a battery?”

A grandmother and her two grandaughters get on and the grandmother sits in the seat vacated by the little boy.  She doesn’t know.

“Sorry, I think you are sitting in our seats.”  Now another little boy is sitting in the seat and the grandmother and the two girls have to move.

The young woman notices she has lost an earring.  She only finds the back.  “Next person that gets on – ooh, look I’ve found an earring!”  Lots of people look for it, including the old gentleman.  “No, I think he’s lost.  Never mind.”