Bloody trains

More of my book


I was returning home. It had been about seven months since I’d last faced up to it. This time it felt different, like an air of change had come over me. I was feeling quite happy to be going back. As I sat on the train, I thought about all the things that I’d written about that were no more. There was no more rainbow, the speed dating was long dead and even my relationship with Nick felt different now. Pretty soon I’ll be 26. I’ve already been asked if I’ll feel grown up when I hit 26. I don’t think I’ll ever feel grown up – should I? Should I need to feel different just because the assigned integer that counts the number of threehundredandsixtyfive days I’ve lived increments by one? Age is a myth, just like beauty magazines and people who travel to work in the first class carriage. Someone opposite me is reading an article about Jarvis Cocker. There’s something funny about him.. he doesn’t appear to have ever gotten any older to me, of course, I’ve gotten older at the same rate as him, which negates the whole system of age to me. Life is but an ongoing funfair ride we leap onto, and eventually off of.
The train pulls into Bristol Parkway. I’ve never quite understood what a parkway is, or why so many places have them. I think it might be special train company language for ‘station in the middle of fucking nowhere’, but there’s probably more to it than that. Some places only have a parkway, not a real station… actually, when I think of it, only Tiverton has that, and Tiverton isn’t a real place anyway. Fuck Tiverton. I’m sure Tiverton has some lovely people, and some shit worth seeing, but seriously, you’ve just got a parkway. Sort yourselves out, Tiverton. ‘Bristol Temple Meads is your next station stop’ – no it’s not. My only station stop is the one I get off at, you’re the ones driving this train, fuckers. Stop with all this ‘your’ shit. Oh, and if anyone from Virgin Trains is reading this, please stop announcing you have a range of ‘teas, coffees and hot chocolates’, when in fact you have ‘tea, coffee with a variety of bullshit and hot chocolate’ – hot chocolates would be something very different indeed, though not entirely unappealing.
I was told the train wouldn’t be catered past Cheltenham. It wasn’t catered at all from what I could see. No crisps, sandwiches, fruit. Just chocolate and Softmints. And Coke. I take this as a direct suggestion that Richard Branson is secretly amused by the idea of commuters with diabetes.
Trains need broadband. Specifically, they need broadband that is both wireless and wired, cheap or free and on every train. Putting shitty wireless on two trains is really shameful. Especially when you have to pay for it and at the cost of a typically monthly broadband connection for a few hours access.. and selling me 24 hours access is hardly acceptable. I’m not going to be on a train for 24 hours. That’s why I’m getting a train… to go somewhere else, with catering and more than one tea and broadband that isn’t run by bastards. That’s my entire reason for getting a train – I don’t even have anywhere to go at this point, I just want to get the hell out of here.
It was probably incorrect to suggest Richard Branson is secretly amused by the idea of commuters with diabetes, but I think he still might be secretly amused by people drinking his own cola. That is, to say, the cola made by the Virgin group of companies, not something Richard Branson might have developed in an underground bunker, a mile beneath his home, in just his pants. If I was Richard Branson, I’d build a replica of my own living room in a room in my office, and I’d go in there in just my pants for a few hours each day, eat Tesco Cheese Balls and watch Diagnosis Murder. Maybe text Nick and tell him about Martin Platt aka Sean Wilson getting up to some more highjinks, maybe just trying to work on finishing the lyrics to the Diagnosis Murder song.
Currently, the lyrics to the Diagnosis Murder song are:-
My name is Mark, yeah.
Doctor Mark Sloan
I live in Californi-ah.
But not on my own.
I live with my son, Steve,
Sgt Steve Sloan
He is a detecti-ve,
A rib joint he does own.
There’s Jesse Travis, too.
He works at C G,
Originally played by Scott Bai-o,
He owns the rib joint too.
Amanda. I like the cut of her jib.
She helps me solve murders, too
In the pilot she was played by Cynthia Gibb,
Aka Sandi Benatoni from Short Circuit 2.
It probably needs a little bit of work. In my mind, Dick Van Dyke would open each show by rapping it. I know they’re not making Diagnosis Murder anymore, and I know that I overused the word ‘too’, and they’re probably unlikely to mention Scott Baio and Cynthia Gibb, but it’s worth a shot. Anyway, Branson, if you’re reading this, get the living room thing set up and give me a ring. I’ll bring the Cheese Balls.. you make sure there’s plenty o’letterheaded paper for us to be cutting our lyrical teeth on. Maybe when we’re done, we can ring up some diabetic people, ask them if they’ve ever taken one of your trains and if they have, sound sincere, but secretly be laughing on the inside.
An hour to go now. I should attempt to do something less productive.
Maybe I’ll finish the Kit Kat.

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