I knew weeks in advance


I knew weeks in advance that I’d be travelling by the tube everyday this week but I don’t know why I still clung to prepay as an option but it is a strange world down there and I blame it on that. 

I was at Holborn station before 10 am getting off a predictably busy train.  We were all herding towards the escalators when this guy starts to push me from behind, in what I imagined was a miscalculated dash for a break in the crowd.

My trick is to employ a quick short shuffle in crowds, it’s hard to explain, but with my relative size I like to think I zip through a crowd, and his technique I learnt, is to steamroller over everyone.

I caught up with him on the adjacent escalator only panting a little and after he took a messy corner into a group of tourists,  I steered past him into the tunnel for the central line.  I could feel him blustering behind me and the joy I felt as I imagined him staring at my straight back was only bettered when he stepped onto the same carriage as me and I was squashed up against the side a little further up.

I have to admit I like the CBS posters with all the words.  They are faintly patronising with their “we’re doing you a favour with our advert for ourselves” but they’re quite funny and they seem to have quite a few so its’ generally fresh. 

But recently as I was innocently positioned directly in front of one, I realised people were walking out of their way and back again to read it.

People, do we have to constantly be reading something?  Do we need entertainment for every minute of the day?  Can we not just look and think and be at one with our own thoughts?

I finished a particularly disappointing book half way through a day when I was going back and forth.  I read the previous days Metro on the next train, did two sudoku puzzles on the third and sat happily propping up ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ on a bag of books on the last.