Friday, May 27, 2011


Blood on the tracks

An interesting employment opportunity has had me spending rather a lot more time on trains recently. I spotted a train called ‘The Virgin Invader’ at Euston last night and sniggered duly.

-- Rewind, last Thursday --

As our train zooms through Milton Keynes Central station, there is suddenly a nasty juddering, rattling sort of a sound and we slow swiftly to a halt. I suspect that someone has just put an end to their misery. Furthermore, I suspect mine is just beginning.

An announcement: there has been ‘an incident’ at Milton Keynes and our driver is ‘in no fit state to continue’. We are stuck, some two hundred yards past the station, and we are going nowhere fast.

Most people in the carriage have likewise concluded that the ‘incident’ must have been a suicide. “What a pity,” they lament: “if only he’d waited for the next train.”

The woman across from me is talking into her phone about ‘the selfish bastard’ who’s just brought our journey to its hiatus, all the while shovelling crisps into her face. I haven’t had dinner and wouldn’t mind a crisp. She doesn’t offer me one.

I am tormented by jumpers and Walkers. Later, more fortunate trains thunder past and on into the oblivious night, unhindered by the torsos of the broken hearted.

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