This morning I had the joy of a lift to the train station as my girlfriend isn’t working today.
The downside with mentally allocating yourself more time in the morning is that you then tend to over-allocate which today resulted in us leaving much MUCH later than we should have. In fact, I was urging her to take most corners on two wheels.
And now I need a change of trousers.
Anyway, we screeched up outside the station and I jumped out of the car with true action movie prowess; running towards the platform at breakneck speed (or what my legs were capable of at 7:30am this morning) as my train was already there.
Whilst I traversed the bridge over the train I thought to myself that I might even possibly maybe consider the theoretical likelihood that, if the train were to begin pulling away, I would jump off the bridge and onto its roof. That way I could not only get into work on time, but also defy the laws of inertia by chasing and fighting some Bond-esque villain complete with limp, eye-patch and a briefcase with classified documents, microfilm and ballistic missile launch codes inside.
As it happens the train didn’t pull out, so I got on it with seconds to spare. It seems those top secret codes will get into the enemy hands after all.
Ah, what did I care; I got a seat.
But hang on, something’s not right. The train’s departure time had come and gone and we were still sat there. It was at this point I was filled with dread as the voice of the driver came crackling over the speaker system; “Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I do apologise for the delay to our service this morning, but we’re being held at a red signal.”.
No shit? Really? I hadn’t considered that.
He continued; “Due to a trackside fire at Preston Park there is now a backlog of trains and we’re awaiting platform space at Three Bridges station before we can continue”.
Ooh, now that’s a little more exciting.
We continued to sit there.
At this point I thought I heard uneven footsteps above me, but shrugged it off and decided to text work and let them know I was going to be late due to issues with the trains. I must admit it was mostly so they knew I was actually awake and hadn’t overslept.
We then sat there for a further 20 minutes.
During this time I was within earshot of a conversation between two women who were talking at the volume intended to encourage other people to listen. One of them was complaining that the driver should just use the ‘bypass track’ to miss out the offending station and get us on our way, whereas the other woman was saying that she’s sure they’re doing everything they can to get us on our way.
This pointless interaction went on for a while and reminded me of football pundits discussing a game they weren’t involved in, had no control of and ultimately speculating on what the players were actually thinking when in reality they should just shut the fuck up.
Soon enough the guard walked through the carriage and was stopped by Mrs Bypass-Track. She asked why we couldn’t just ‘go around’ the other trains. The guard tried to explain, through a forced smile that resembled a clown taking a shit, that all the platforms were in use and there were no tracks for us to use. She still continued to ask why we couldn’t just bypass them, as if the concept of trains and tracks had eluded her. The guard said they were doing everything they could to get us on our way which resulted in the smuggest look from the other woman who had said the exact same thing not 5 minutes earlier.
I knew there was nothing I could do so I sat back, relaxed and closed my eyes for an extended morning train snooze.
I was woken briefly by what sounded like a faint shriek followed by a dull thud and a clatter resembling a briefcase hitting train tracks.
I think the lights flickering slightly too, but then the train started moving so I shrugged it off, closed my eyes again and drifted off.