Peak hour. 18:29, 4th of March 2019. I am in a Jubilee line train from Stratford to Stanmore. Since the train just started from its first station, it is not too crowded yet. A gentleman, well suited, is sitting in front of me, reading the Evening Standard with a lot of attention. Blue tie, navy suit and white shirt. His backpack looks as if it belongs to a mountain cyclist rather than a lawyer or banker. Well, pretty hard to look immaculate with this London weather. Can’t say that my shoes are cleaner than his.
The speed of the train makes me feel a bit dizzy and sleepy. Every single person in this coach has something in their hands be it the phone or simply the evening newspaper. We are all tired, it’s Monday and like usually, it’s going to be a long week.
Canary Wharf now and the crowd floods this train from all the doors, if only they could use the windows too. 90% of the people getting on at this station are in black, blue and grey. Seems like I entered into a colourless world, where I can find all the dark shades.
Yup, I was right. Now I cannot even see the person in front of me. Skirts, stiletto shoes, black suits and black backpacks. Here and there a white shirt appearing like a stain. A lady standing in front of me, decorated with two bags and a hand bag is really doing her best to complete all the sudoku boxes with the right number, or maybe she is thinking of the next letter of a crossword puzzle. Well does it really matter?
Nothing much to see at this point, and indeed nothing much to tell. People are trying to kill their time, if only they could fly back home. The most boring ones are reading the ads next to the London tube map. Unfortunately, this month the ads are not that funny as they used to be.
London Bridge now. I can smell a fusion of three, four or maybe ten perfumes. Not too soft and pleasant though. The gentleman I was telling you before is not interested in reading the news anymore, or perhaps he read everything by now. He’s phone is away, he’s daydreaming for sure.
The train is not crazy crowded now and I can see a Chinese lady holding a closed notebook in her hands, she’s about to write something, but her is too tired. Ohh! An idea suddenly came, she opened her notebook. Still reading. Still thinking. Still not writing, yet. But now she is writing. Well done, ideas! Well done! Too bad I cannot read Chinese ideas. She stopped again.
Bond Street now and unfortunately I cannot see the Chinese lady anymore. May the inspiration hit us both.
The gentleman left and a young lady took his seat. This time, she’s busy with her phone. Black outfit and pink nails. A beautiful ring on her finger and a clean backpack. The shoes are spotless. Maybe after all is not that difficult to look impeccable regardless the weather.
The same speed and my brain is about to explode. What is the little poor yellow feather looking in a train? Whatever.
Phone, phone, phone, phone, newspaper, annoying pink trousers, brown Michael Kors backpack and phone again. I am not saying it is good, I am not saying it is bad either.
The lady is getting off at Swiss Cottage. The pink annoying trousers took her sit. Pink annoying lips and pink annoying earrings. A bit of pink annoying dots on her sneakers.
West Hampstead now and the train is suffering a bit of change here. A bunch of people getting out and another bunch getting in. The lady sitting next to me is watching a movie. The gentleman with newspaper just gave me a glace. I looked into his eyes for less than a second.
Nothing much to say at this point. It is pretty quiet, not a surprise since we are too busy in our little world, too busy to look around and too busy to smile.
The fragile yellow feather is still on the floor. A gentleman sneezed three times, lounder and louder, he got some attention. OH, fourth time now. Call a doctor, sir! Now for sure he had attention, more than he wanted.
Willesden Green and I am almost home. Less and less people around me. Not an interesting journey I would say. The crying kids were missing and the drunk group of friends are left for the weekends. Again, it’s Monday. A typical Monday. Rainy and windy day, same journey, same routine and same tired and busy people. Oh wait, this is not a typical Monday day. Most probably this is a typical life day. Unless you are not a typical kind of people. I hope you are not.
Dark outside and silence again. That’s my station. After all, mind it. Mind the gap. Or whatever you want in this short life.
Do you mind?
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”London Underground Quotes