A small journey early in the morning.
The alarm wakens me at least five hours before my body is ready to contemplate moving from the comfort of my warm bed. The annoying shapes, colours and blurs in front of my eyes start to form pictures that seem vaguely, familiar. I use the most wondrously, pointless device ever invented, ‘the snooze button’ to drown the noise attacking my ears. I now have ten seconds of calm before the little voice in my traumatised head starts to repeat the mantra “if you go back to sleep now…you’ll be late”. Wearily I turn the snooze function off and follow my full bladder to the bathroom.
Washed but not refreshed I force down coffee and cigarettes laced with relaxants and search for ties and socks cursing my inability to prepare for anything more important than a munchies run. A last minute check and I’m out the door ready to face the day.
Either the cold or the heat hits me, it depends on the season but it doesn’t really matter, all that matters is me thinking ‘damn, I wish I was still in bed’. A brisk walk to the station to catch today’s cattle truck. I’m still genuinely surprised every time their on time. An orderly cue of pissed off commuters forms at the position for each star trek door to open. I hang back, letting the people who don’t care or just don’t know better go first, let them cram into the few available air pockets before I grab the coveted spot by the door.
The train pulls away from the station and those damn laws of physics dictate that the 25 minute train ride will seem like hours as you pass the familiar landscape outside. Eye contact on a train is governed by the same rules as the gents, it’s is frowned upon by some and a good reason for a beating to others. Still, I occasionally steal a glance at my fellow prisoners, the despair in their eyes cheers me up, I’m not the only one. All of them wishing they’d jumped under the train instead of getting on it, ah, it’s a new day.
The train arrives at the final destination, a sea of humanity rushes for the doors, looking for escape from the armpit fragrant transport. Out of principle I refuse to let anyone who was lucky enough to sit through the torture of our journey leave the train before me, I take my time, enjoying their suffering.
A slow smoke filled walk is next on my agenda, the Underground awaits me. New smells are discovered on the underground like new species are discovered on long lost islands, we don’t know where they come from, we just know it’s new and different. The 18 inches of space I had to myself on the overground seems like a long lost paradise as arms are raised with no thought for the children.
Thankfully my journey through hell lasts only one stop and I’m back, out into the smog-filled, air of London’s streets. I’m immediately surrounded by hands thrusting free newspapers papers at me, they come from all directions. I dismiss them with contempt. The sounds of people and cars fill the streets, I continue my walk past the gun-toting police posing for photo’s with slack jawed tourists.
Finally I arrive at work, coffee in hand and eyes already on the clock. Yep, I’m gonna miss this place.