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Hell is rail

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The two-hour train journey at around 7pm out of London on a Friday evening is a special type of journey, and by ‘special’ I’d like to be clear that what I actually mean is: shit.

This evening I will embark on one such journey. I’ve not bought a ticket; I don’t definitely know my destination; I have no clear idea of the timetable. Awareness or organisation of any of these things might render the process a little easier to bear, yes, I see that. But I am curating a careful web of denial. I will not, until the very last moment, engage with this trip; I will wait until the moment I squash my finger seventy-nine times onto the unresponsive ticket machine touchpad, while weeping, to really acknowledge that I am about to get on a train that smells of last week’s dry roasted peanuts and that man’s yesterday shirt.

I imagine some train journeys are glorious. I bet the Tran-Siberian or the Orient Express or a luxurious train through India are jewels in a traveller’s itinerary. The landscapes they twist through, the things you could see, the romance of it all. Oh the romance!

I, on the other hand, will be travelling on Southern Rail. Yup. Southern sans fucking romance rail. There will be a buffet car, sweaty suits, too many people and some fucknut is *bound* to have bought something from the West Cornwall Pasty Company. Jesus that place has a lot to answer for. Not all food on trains fucks me off, but hot smelly food really does. It doesn’t matter where I sit, someone close by will be negotiating something heinous. It’ll be some geezer who doesn’t look like he  actually needs to worry too much about his next meal but he will, nonetheless, be negotiating the entire pasty into his face and then blocking any remaining holes with some, aptly named, wedge chips.

There will be no way that this man can possibly continue to breathe in this compromised state and no doubt he will assume that weird breathless purple as he forces the hydrogenated fats down his gullet. These people are the evolutionary product of our fat food nation: I will lean ’round to see if he has gills. He will have gills: evolution is repeating itself. Fat fucks have eaten their way right back to the beginning.

People who know me also know that if I get hungry my mood can, from time to time, ‘dip’. This normally happens the moment I get on to the train. So, after finding a seat opposite someone who has brought their entire desk along for the journey, I will negotiate the crowded aisle, leapfrog wheely suitcases, lightly punching people in the face as I go, and head to the buffet car.

The woman or man, let’s not feel the pressure to be exact, will not be smiling. They haven’t smiled for the last fifteen years, but who would if you lived there; and if you’d heated your breakfast in a microwave over and over again until your soul was rubber.

I will bear all this in mind when they fail consistently to be polite; I will remain chirpy when they charge me several english pounds for a horrible sandwich clearly made some time ago by a blind man in a GM happy factory. I’ll leave the sandwich, I’ll say. And I’ll leave the tea, too, it’s the tubes of milk you see: fucking ridiculous invention; you have to have it all or just hold it for duration of your travels. Rubbish. What nobchops thought of that. Rethink, dude, RETHINK.

There is one path and one path only. Get shitfaced and eat a giant packet of crisps. I will over order and line my goods up like my personal bar on Mr Business’ laptop. I’ll give him a wink, knock back my first and then settle in, a dry roasted nut inevitably stuck to the back of my leg, and listen to the click click shudder of the train as it trundles to my destination via hell.

At the end, I should let you know, there are friends waiting. And, though I spit and joke, in reality I’d sit through many a pasty for them. Deep breath. See you on the other side.

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Written by elikafm

May 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Elika. Elika said: Random bloggery. I'm a bit, um, ragey: Hell in rail: http://ow.ly/1L5UF […]


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