Last night I dreamed I had to escort a kangaroo wearing a head scarf on the London Underground.
She shook her head when we approached the escalator and so we walked to the side of the station to take the lift. Looking back now I realise she had hooves, which I can't explain. I remember feeling very scared of her as the doors shut on us and we travelled down together in the dim light. I tried not to show it but something about her stillness and unblinking eyes unsettled me. I felt pretty ashamed of myself for feeling like it.
When we got out I left her for a minute as I walked up the platform. It was mainly empty, but a man was sitting on a bench a bit further up and was clearly looking at us. He muttered to me as I past.
'It's fucking disgusting.'
'What is?' I shot back aggressively, because I hate feeling judged.
'Headscarves.' he said, 'In this day and age.'
I got into a long loud argument with him where I defended her right to wear whatever she chose and he argued she was doing it out of religious repression. I largely agreed with a lot of what he said by the end, but I stuck stubbornly to my point because, even though he never said it, I couldn't help but think by the way he spoke that his argument was filled with prejudice and hate
The kangaroo stood further down the platform, still and probably listening, either dignified or terrified, I couldn't tell.