Monday, 19 September 2011

A traveller's tales: a train reaction

The worst thing about my daily commute isn’t the London Tube. In fact, it’s not even the 6am start or 7pm finish. No, it’s much more macabre than that.

So far, in the seven days (including my day trip to London on Saturday, pictures of which you can see below) that I’ve been travelling to work, three people have been hit by trains. Three fucking people.

Now, this strikes me as an inordinate number of folk being pummelled by the full force of an Intercity 125 rushing from the slumber of suburbia to crawling, be-suited anthill of central London.

Surely this sort of serendipitous scorecard totting must trigger a sniff of an inquiry in one of the Metropolitan Police Service’s many out-houses, where officers have little else to do but pick up bladder-pickled street urinators?

But, no, this is just one more inconvenience to jostle the patience of daily commuters. And the worst of it is, all you care about is getting home. Or not getting home. Or just being late getting home.

Someone might have died. A family might have lost its only child. A child might have lost its only family. And the only thing that crosses your mind is, ‘Shit, I can’t believe I’m going to miss the football.’

It’s inevitable really. You don’t see the accident, only the repercussions. So it’s not a real person that’s had his cranium smashed to smithereens, it's just another traffic report that's causing you a disruption.

And that’s my biggest irk with commuting: there’s no compassion. Life revolves around getting from A to B. Anything that falls inbetween - from the old lady who stops right in front of you at the station to the guy who’s had enough of life and chucked himself on a track - is a hindrance.

So as I sit here on the 6.30pm London Liverpool Street train to Colchester, trying to take stock of what it means to be a commuter, I should really count my blessings. This isn’t the worst predicament. I mean, I have a cushioned seat, a nice view and the opportunity to wind down from a long day at work. What more could a boy need, right?

Yes, it seems life is good. Even if it's currently running 20 minutes late.

1 comment:

Su said...

Aww and now you're delayed by a jumper!! Most suicides are private matters so this must just be a cry for help which is the last thing you'd get from London commuters.