The Grumbling Commuter

Today stands in marked contrast to yesterday. Yesterday, I was on holiday, carefree and without worry. Yesterday I was of sunny disposition, wandering through the streets of Chiltern towns, looking back on a well-spent week-and-a-half break. Yesterday, I ate lunch outside a McDonalds in Enfield, I drank a double macchiato outside a Costa in Amersham, I veritably wended through numerous charity shops. The day before I was in Crouch End, again minding my own business sipping coffee outside, and the day before, a relaxing afternoon of reading, coffee, sweets and snacks. The week before I was in Cornwall, soaking up the sights and the sounds and the smells of the sea, eating fish and chips, cream teas, bacon sandwiches for breakfast.

This morning I had cheap cornflakes for breakfast, and no coffee. I was about to cycle in when it started raining, so I slouched through Noel Park to the tube instead of dragging my sorry carcass through the wet streets on my bike. It wasn’t proper rain, just a mere drizzle that offset the overcast skies against the lurid, overabundany cherry blossom on one or two trees. I passed not a single cheery looking individual; I could hardly have looked less into it myself; perhaps the addition of a dog end and a few more crags on the face would help. Today, instead of rolling out of bed when I wished, and onto another fun day, I am up at the crack of sparrows to go to work, and have to sit on the cattle train to Holborn to get there. My journey is soundtracked by the Arcade Fire’s embittered second record, with its ominous church organs and crescendos. Black Mirror provides a perfect soundtrack, with the strings sitting back from the mix until the huge piano motif booms out at the opportune moment, like the 007 theme that’s been building and building.

Thank goodness then for books. There’s more to life than books, you know, as a man once said, and quite right. But for taking my mind off the tube, off the world in general, I’m today thankful for Hubert Selby Jr and his waffling introduction to Last Exit To Brooklyn for distracting me. It only lasted until I emerged blinking into the half-light of Kingsway, through a barrage of raincoated leafleteers, but it was good. Now, to work, though I despise it all.

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One Response

  1. Hello from Wexford Ireland, I enjoyed the article. Very Good.

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