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Peter J. Oszmann

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· Jew Be or Not Jew Be; The Story of a Perpetual Alien

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· Stories about my childhood, my Mother and her family.

· The Butterfly Effect (Repost) Revised

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· Traces In The Air - A story of Meaningful Coincidences.

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· You'll cry where no one will see you.

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· Travel Diary USA - Canada. 1995.

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A living, breathing abstract art…- (Satire)
By Peter J. Oszmann
Posted: Sunday, January 25, 2009
Last edited: Sunday, January 25, 2009
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Peter J. Oszmann
· Stories about my childhood, my Mother and her family.
· The Butterfly Effect (Repost) Revised
· Christmas Miracles.
· The Anniversary.
· Traces In The Air - A story of Meaningful Coincidences.
· A Bar of Chocolate… and a Smile…
· You'll cry where no one will see you.
           >> View all 28
The story is based on an actual observation during a train journey to Central London…



One of my many hobbies is art. I indulge in painting, drawing, graphic art, even a bit of sculpture, or rather modelling in clay.


Naturally I visit museums and galleries for inspiration from time to time. As I live in the southernmost Borough of Greater London, in a suburban environment, I have to travel to Central London for such visits. In the distant past, I used to drive up to town and parked near my destination, which used to be relatively easy and far less expensive than travelling on public transport. For one thing, at the weekends, one could find free parking places almost anywhere and it took no more than about 30 minutes from door to door. Regretfully those days are gone, but there is some consolation in the fact that, at my age, I can use the public transport system all over the Greater London area absolutely free. Now, that I am on my own, I take full advantage of my “Freedom Pass” and whenever the weather is not to atrocious, I go up to London for a stroll and for visiting some museums, or galleries.


The railway station – a small and not too busy suburban station - is about a mile from my door and at the weekend there is no problem finding a free parking place, either at the station or nearby, therefore I drive to the station to save energy for my saunter in town. On Saturdays, I can get a train every 15 minutes, on Sundays every half an hour. There is just one drawback using this particular station; there are no fast trains. The trains stop at every station en-route and it takes just over forty minutes to get to London. I could use my local town’s main station to get a fast train, taking about 20 minutes to reach Central London, but that station is about two miles away from me, parking is either virtually impossible, or unaffordable and the trains are usually packed full. Great, if you wish to feel like a squashed sardine in a tin. I prefer comfort to speed. At my little station the trains I use arrive almost empty (the terminal suburban station is only one stop away) and they are never quite full on arrival. I can sit in comfort and watch the world go by the window.


Occasionally there are even more entertaining things to watch… people… As the trains are never crowded at the times I travel, fellow passengers can find empty seats at conveniently distant location from each other and thus they feel at ease to indulge in activities they wish to indulge in, to pass the time and dispel the boredom of a longish journey.


Thus, on a recent trip to London, I was able to observe a young lady - without hindrance and possible embarrassment - who was sitting diagonally across from me on the opposite side of the carriage, in a forward facing seat by the window. I occupied a forward facing seat by the widow too and only one row behind the young lady. She got on the train at the first stop after I started my journey and immediately started an activity that only ended upon arrival at the final destination.


As soon as she sat down, she opened her handbag, fished out a little compact, with a mirror in the lid, and began a “painting session”, starting with the eyebrows, progressing to the eyelashes, the face, the nose, the lips, using a bewildering array of implements and applying an equally bewildering array of substances. It was a delicate and fascinating artistic operation to watch, as she proceeded transforming a pretty face into what looked more like a Russian icon than a face by the time the train rolled to a slow halt at the London Terminus. Subtlety?... Hardly… She had dark blond hair and she applied soot-black mascara and dye to her lashes and eyebrows, deep blue shades around the eyes, a darkish tan all over her peachy face and cherry red lipstick on her lips. I have seen portraits in oil, tempera, acrylic, oil-pastel, water-colour and other assorted media, looking more natural than her face looked, after nearly forty minutes of careful application of the most outlandish colours anyone could apply to ruin a previously perfectly pretty face.

She took a forty minutes journey to achieve the nearly impossible, to transfigure an attractive female face to that of Coco the Clown.


She got off the train looking very satisfied with her “artistic” achievement and with a confident stride headed towards the exit. I was right behind her when she stepped out – without the slightest hesitation – into one of the worse downpours I witnessed in recent months…

She had no umbrella, raincoat or hat… Just five steps out of the cover of the station and she already looked like a half drowned cat, her long wet hair clinging to her face…


From the back, still sheltering at the station’s arcade, I could not see her face, but I could easily visualise the black mascara, the blue eye-shadows, the tan foundation and the red lipstick, running down in streaks on her face… She disappeared into the crowd of umbrellas and raincoats, still with a self assured stride…


I headed - under the cover of my umbrella - to the National Gallery and admired some fine portraits there…


The following weekend I went up to London again, this time to visit the Tate Modern…

In one of the rooms I spotted the girl from the train… hanging on the wall… as an abstract painting… Just streaks of dull, muddy colours, running down the canvass…



© P. J Oszmann (2008)

© Illustration created in Photoshop [from an original photo of reflection on water] (2008)



Web Site: Jew Be or Not Jew Be  

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Reviewed by Regis Auffray 1/25/2009
This is very good, Peter. I appreciate your keen sense of observation. Humans are strange creatures indeed. People watching is one of my favourite activities when I am "forced" to be in a mall waiting for some woman/women who love to shop (i.e. my daughters). Thank you. Love and peace to you,


Books by
Peter J. Oszmann

Jew Be or Not Jew Be; The Story of a Perpetual Alien

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3. Nude-Night-Naughty 6
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6. The Seer
7. My Ubiquitous Acquaintance
8. Armina, the cat who invented canned dog-fo
9. Frou-Frou, the cat who supported the Frenc
10. Celestine, the cat who helped Galileo...
11. A Normal Family
12. Indigo, the cat who encouraged Christopher
13. Gone Fishin?
14. The Elephant
15. Rose is dead
16. Byron Luckipaw, the cat who established th
17. Thunder-and-Lightening, the cat who comple
18. She Told Me To Do It
19. Junius Flavius Albanius, the cat who inven
20. The Daily Pagent...4th edition

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