Not my leg

The leg on the poster is not my leg. I can see it through the grimy windows of the tube carriage, which are still speckled with rain: it starts on the right-hand side of the poster, near the hip, then extends in fishnet tights and ends in a red stiletto that points towards but does not quite reach the left-hand side. I can see it because there is nowhere to sit in the morning rush hour, so I am standing and looking out of the window, and it happens to be there. The other passengers have not noticed the lack of similarity between my leg and the leg on the poster. Perhaps they can’t see the poster from their seats, or they are facing the other way, or are distracted by a book or a fellow passenger. I want to complain to them, to gain their support for my plight. But they will say: “So what? It’s not my leg either.” There is a trainful of people whose leg is not on that poster. Unless, perhaps, its actual owner, the woman whose leg was preferred to mine even after the photographer contracted by the advertising agency to produce the shot for the play’s promotional material had paid me to raise and extend my leg (right) again and again until he had the take, is on the train, but this would be quite the coincidence, and anyway, as only one of the seven hundred passengers it would not change my overall conclusion that my protest would be met with derision. She would also be unlikely to identify herself as the leg’s owner if I began to demonstrate. She would remain quiet until her stop, maybe Moorgate, or even London Bridge, then go about her day. This is, of course, assuming that there is indeed an owner; perhaps my leg has undergone electronic surgery, cropped and shaded, with cursors rather than scalpels. This replacement of my body with pixels and colour codes, done without my knowledge or consent, is an affront. As the train starts up, southbound on the Northern Line, and the poster slides from my view, I reach a decision: I will leave my husband.

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