‘I want to write a novel about Silence,” he said; “the things people don’t say.’
– VIRGINIA WOOLF, THE VOYAGE OUT
For a Quiet Carriage there is a surprising numbered of yobs behind me, chattering and screeching away like a family of chimps. From what I can gather, the guy behind me (we shall call him Gareth) is a budding actor who is on his way to an audition in London. His clarion voice is now informing me that, not only had he played a dingo, but he has also been offered a position at the company of a successful business person, which he feels ‘positive, positive, positive’ about. Unfortunately, it seems that he is prohibited to give away any details about his shiny new job.
Here are 3 things I can safely tell you about Gareth:
Anyway, nevermind him, let’s discuss the free Wi-Fi on this train that doesn’t actually work – actually, that’s boring and you didn’t come here for boring, so I’ll tell you all about train stations instead.
I’m joking, don’t worry.
Here’s a couple in front of me now (we shall call them Cameron and Susan – Sameron) and they just shared a croissant, which was cute while it lasted, but now they’re both staring at the empty wrapper with their hands on their knees- apparently catatonic. I have a feeling that this is their first date and Cameron’s mum didn’t coach him past the croissant.
Gareth is still talking. It seems that he has found a buddy to talk football with (we shall call him Ron,) Ron’s currently raving about Aston Villa and Gareth is listing doughnut preferences. The telecom just advertised the tuck shop in carriage A – I think Sameron should invest in a family sized bag of Doritos, I’m having serious concerns about their lack of movement.
I’ve just moved places and now have a spiffing football commentary being fed into my left ear. Ron has found a new friend, who swears an awful lot (we shall call him Bucky.) Bucky’s Adidas trainers have crept dangerously close to my leg.
I think he knows I’m writing about him.
There’s a woman at my 11 o’clock who is drinking (what I assume is coffee, but since I can’t see it, it could be straight vodka for all I know) from a cup with a moustached man on it. I shall tell her telepathically how cool it is.
Bucky’s just complained about how idiotic some football fans can be and how much he hates flat lemonade. Now he’s opened two large cans of larger at the same time to prove his point.
Fun fact: Bucky is afraid of tunnels.
Ron’s just announced his phobia of flying and that he shits himself every time and doesn’t leave his seat.
I hope he wears a nappy.
Sameron update: still catatonic.
Apparently, the thing I’ve nudged with my foot for the entire journey is Ron’s right foot.
Fun fact: according to Bucky, he is okay with the Tube, as he is only scared when he goes through dark tunnels at ‘top speed.’
An old man has moved to the seat on my left (let’s call him Roger) with a can of Stella Artois on his table. I originally thought he was doing origami but, as it turns out, he’s hand rolling an impressive collected of cigarettes.
Origami is healthier, kids.
I’ve discovered that the secret to walking down a turbulent train is to step very rapidly and latch onto heads with a claw like grip.
Fun fact: Ron buys his jeans from the women’s section of Topshop.
Gareth has quieted down, I think he found something to eat. Susan has resorted to eating chunks of her Aloe Vera lip balm and Roger is still rolling cigarettes – maybe he’s entering a competition.
The train has arrived at London Euston and Gareth just left.
I shall miss him.
Bucky’s real name turns out to be Ross, but he’ll always be Bucky to me. He complained noisily about his flat larger and left too.
Fun fact: if you listen closely, you’ll discover that everybody is slightly nuts.