Thursday 23 April 2009
I wake up this morning trying to work out just what last night’s good mood was all about and where it came from. This is in an attempt to rekindle that feeling and mentality.
Today is St George’s Day a day about slaying dragons. I do not currently have many dragons in my life to slay I have just left them today. I hardly slay, more ran away. Is this a better method? Regardless, wouldn’t it be nice to have St George’s Day as a public holiday, especially on the gorgeous sunny day that today is.
On the train at Witham this morning the really tall guy from the other day boards the train, the guy that crowded our seats and caused my legs great discomfort. Thankfully he doesn’t sit opposite me today, I think he clocked me as he walked past.
The train journey today mainly consists of a feeling of regret as my mind wanders back to the incident with Zoë and how I fluffed a great opportunity. How would things be now if I had just acted against my instincts, in an assertive and positive manner? Would we have turned into something regardless of the many excuses she held and used against me?
These thoughts I think are triggered by the lady that is boarding the train at Shenfield these days. There is absolutely no resemblance to anyone I know but with her fringe I just find myself thinking about such things. This is a crush.
Regardless of all this thinking too much I arrive at London in a really great mood. As I board the short tube ride from Baker Street to St Johns Wood the occasional gorgeous Japanese lady is on there and she is actually strange/funny. I genuinely try to muster up a smile but she doesn’t seem receptive or biting.
Such sense of wellbeing was always going to be fleeting as soon after getting into work I discover that a file (and a lot of work) has been zapped. I remember now the exact point yesterday at which this went wrong, when remotely my work computer just decided to restart itself and it booted me out of Excel. When a weird looking file appeared on my flashdrive I did what would appear to be the sensible thing – I zapped it. So now, now it is gone and with it potentially a hell of a lot of work. I think I took a backup at home of it but as to how recent that was is open to question. I really haven’t had any luck with work recently.
Once again this a timely reminder of just how much our computers are struggling with the sudden addition of both a new version of Sage and antivirus software, these old machines just do not seem able to cope.
Generally though today is another quiet day. It is weird, after all the intense hassle of the past couple of months to now be approaching work at a leisurely pace is somewhat disconcerting. Not that I am complaining.
I even manage to chat to Dave briefly on MSN about Roy Keane’s appointment at Ipswich. Personally I think it is a bit of a joke and it appears he is less than enthused about it also. It just does not fit in with the Ipswich Town mentality/persona.
Today out of boredom I get away with saying some of the worst things imaginable to the office girl. She says I’m only saying them because the other lady isn’t in. My response to this is “yeah, she’s nice.”
Ultimately today ends up being one of filing and housekeeping in the office. Doing this appears to take up just as much time as doing real work and the way in which my desk is currently drowning more than suggests that this is a job that was long overdue.
When I get on the tube back to Liverpool Street it is a journey once more accompanied by the Jack Lemmon in Glengarry Glen Ross lookalike again. The look is all in the pained expression and defeated body language. And then he begins to have a conversation with himself, which truly makes me aghast.
Tonight my teeth hurt. Is this a sign of stress or bad weather? Probably neither, more a mark of poor oral health (although I’m not feeling it).
At Liverpool Street I easily manage my daily 6.20 train. Sat opposite me is some gruff salaryman in glasses tearing into the business section of the newspaper and two cans of Adnams. Then just before the train pulls off some distinctly rural woman with crazy hair literally shoves her way past me into the spare seat to my right. She only needed to ask.
If this look isn’t bad enough I scan a woman rocking the look of Ronnie Corbett in drag. She looks uppity and not the least bit funny.
On my iPhone I am finally down to the last three episodes of season one of In Treatment just as the second season begins in America (on HBO). With gusto I tear into watching these in the hope of finishing off the series this evening one way or another. I take great joy in wowing the rural lady next to me reading her wildlife magazine and eating her Boots Meal Deal (annoying me in the process, ban food on trains NOW!).
A tempered journey only gets worse when we slow down at Hatfield to be told by the conductor that the train will now be subject to a 45 minute delay. Collectively the train sighs in disgust but my mentality is that I at least have something to amuse (the episodes of In Treatment) while these schmucks around me can/will sit and stew.
As the train finally grinds to a halt the Ronnie Corbett with fanny begins to kick up a minor stink. Fucking privileged bitch, you can tell she comes from rich stock and has been pampered too much of her life. How else could a person get away with thinking looking like a bloke be acceptable. OK, I admit in clear daylight I wouldn’t ordinarily take such a disliking to her but tonight she wields such a pissy and arrogant attitude towards a bad situation that we are all suffering from, not only her, and she is only serving to make it all worse as she begins to wind up the other passengers.
Slowly and gradually the train begins creeping forwards but this is with the knowledge that it will completely ground to a halt between Marks Tey and Colchester where the real delay is in fucked signals.
Eventually the train reaches Kelvedon where it stops teasingly with the doors of the train remaining slammed wide shut. Not long after arriving here the latest announcement from the conductor informs the stewing train that the hold up will now be an hour.
With this announcement the Ronnie Corbett in drag becomes more vocal and gets up out of her seat to find the conductor (or driver) in the hope of getting the doors open at this station and letting us off. Half the train silently scoffs at her while the other half appears to support her. Personally her mere appearance has already caused me to side against her in absolutely anything she says and any decision she might make.
Less vocal and more proactive about things suddenly the guy sat opposite me who has a red face from a combination of the delay and attempting a broadsheet crossroad gets on the phone and begins to drum up somebody to pick him up from Kelvedon. Having knocked back two cans of Adnams and with a taste of alcohol in his belly he soon storms up out of his seat gathering his belongings but not his rubbish (the two empty cans of Adnams and his broadsheet) and he stomps to the nearest carriage door where he pulls the emergency lever and suddenly the train makes a huge whistling noise and scary sound of deflation. I later discover that this is the sound of the brakes deflating in the name of safety. And that was just off the back of two cans of Adnams, just imagine what he might have soon exhibiting Stella rage.
For a few minutes we look around at each other wondering what it was that he just did. Suddenly our delay was looking longer than ever as people slowly gathered up their own stuff and took the same route off the train. With my parents in Seville unfortunately I found devoid of such options and instead began filling with a new sense of loneliness as it became apparent that in such circumstances there was nobody I could call to come pick me up.
I would estimate half the train got in a pissy mood as the rookie conductor paced from one end of the train to the other trying to put things right.
His first mistake was announcing how long the delay would be. There is something about the commuter psyche that holds some degree of optimism that during a delay the train is always on the verge of pulling away any minute. To put a timespan on a delay will only ever serve to infuriate your average man and your average woman even more (especially those on the blob). It wasn’t long before people realised that they had boarded the train with the driver and conductor (and National Express) in full knowledge that the lengthy/hefty delay lay ahead.
Not long after the exodus calmed down the conductor came along to where the Ronnie Corbet she-male had been sitting and now suddenly it would appear she was suspect #1 in the pulling of the lever. Personally with the act now done I was more concerned with the train getting up and running once more as quite frankly the hissing sound was making me feel part of a party sitting on a dead duck. The strange looking lady was still sitting next to me having chosen not to get off the train; she was a Suffolk I guess. As the conductor asked about the person who pulled the lever she happily grassed saying “he was annoying me anyway.” That’s the spirit.
At this point the woman begins annoying me as she obviously wants to begin talking to anyone that will listen. At first I think she finds a like mind in the lad sat on the opposite side of the aisle that happily informs that the fine for pulling the emergency lever these days is £1000. What kind of person knows that? Overhearing her loud phone conversations they start off at “I’m happy to wait, means I’ll be able to reclaim a free ticket” to eventually “I’ve finished what I was reading and I’m bored now.” She had been reading a fucking natural trust pamphlet; surely she was bored from the beginning.
Later she gets up to get a can of cider (Adnams also I believe) and I turn my iPhone up louder in fear of her attempting to engage me in conversation again. By this point all three final episodes of season 1 of In Treatment are long gone and now I am listening to a Tank Riot podcast on Stanley Kubrick.
When it is announced by the conductor on the PA that all drinks are now free in the buffet compartment there is a literal stampede. Humans love a freebie, especially in the face of adversity.
By this point I begin thinking I am making eyes with a funny looking lady that looks like Kristen Schaal. It’s definitely better than nothing and I figure if this is to be our final train journey on this mortal coil this is who I have decided to hook up with. Our exchanges are awkward and ugly. Unfortunately as it gets later and later (and darker and darker) when the train eventually curmudgeonly moves on one stop closer to Marks Tey the doors open again and she decides to get up and get off. As she gets up I suddenly clock just how fucking young she and immediately I begin to feel dirty. This was wrong.
The train eventually/finally pulls into Colchester station at 9.29 representing a two hour and thirteen minute delay, which strangely felt longer, and when counted on fingers was actually a delay shorter than expected after all the shenanigans with Adnams man and the emergency lever. I do realise that by this point both red-faced Adnams man and Ronnie Corbett in drag have probably been home quite a while and have had their respective dinners.
As it feels that the service National Express provides deteriorates by the week it is hard to feel angry about tonight’s delay as I stagger home a broken man defeated by public transport and my life ruined from it.
I get back to my parents place at 9.50 where I catch the end of the High School Musical spoof episode of South Park. No question, it is great. This is then followed by the South Park episode where an episode of Family Guy is showing a cartoon of Mohammed. All in all both episodes cheer me up and raise spirits.
Again this evening I dip into the Kahlua, which is a pretty unwise decision/choice at such a late hour on a school life. Such is the life of a downtrodden commuter though being buttfucked by incompetence. Once more I pass out as a result only to awaken in the early hours to a Chris Rock special on Comedy Central.
When I rise I notice I haven’t finished my drink so I polish it off before getting in my car and heading home to bed. That was a reckless decision.
I need a girlfriend. One to pick me up from stranded broken down trains and one to stop me drinking alcohol late at night.