Car 1

Mr Phil Barker

Outward appearance

Tiny, nervous about 19. Longish straight brown hair, brown sports jacket, yellow shirt, green floral tie. A blue sleeping-bag coat balloons around his shoulders. Sits slumped into the aisle with his left foot resting on his right knee.

Inside information

Works in the post office near Waterloo Station. Actually 22 years old. Lives with his family in Hackney.

Phil's problem is his father. His father is 38 and still wants to be 22. His father works as a bouncer and furniture repossessor, and is big, blonde, spotty. His knuckles are tattooed. It's like living with the head of a rival gang. "How much you bringing home each week?" his father said this morning. "You need to get yourself a sideline. Women love villains. I should know."

Money, women, respect, power to terrorize -- Phil has none of these and his father makes sure he knows it.

What he is doing or thinking

As the doors close, a blue blur sits next to him. A kind of tremor passes through Phil, and the sole of his left foot sweeps down the blur's trousers. His neighbour immediately slams back with his knee. Phil's leg is pushed into the dividing panel. His knee nerves buzz like a funny bone.

Phil explodes. "You do that again and you'll get a fucking knife in the ribs." The man stares back at him -- he is blonde and huge and his mouth hangs open.

Then he hurls Phil back against the dividing panel. Phil crumples , withdraws swiftly. He stands hunched in the door area, burning with shame as the train pulls into Waterloo.

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