The train makes an additional stop at Hitchin. The travelers there are aligned in anticipation of a different spacing between the doors.
Repetition and habit rule life. It’s important to find space around fixed tracks. Thoreau wrote about the opportunities for exploration within a ten-mile radius. The urge to travel is a symptom of maladjustment.
The train is stuck by a red light and the driver calls in to say he can’t reach the signaler. Then he calls again to say that there has been a points failure. Workers in orange jackets wait on the sidelines after the last tunnel before the station.
Familiar stations lie beyond my destination on a London Midlands service: Coventry, Tile Hill… Places of memory and imagination. How many places of the past will you never visit again?
My neighbour wears a red top and silk trousers, she has a fan which she flicks open; a few flicks of the wrist, a last flick closes it. She is watching a drama on her screen, the screen is dirty and she wipes it with her scarf. She places her device on the retractable table and she holds her head in her hands and looks down at it. The fan is no longer needed.
This is a better arrangement than yesterday when I sat opposite a teen-aged boy with short-cropped hair, listening to music, taken with it, twitching and rocking and pumping his torso, mouth twitching, frowning, scowling, eyes closed, eyes open…
Now I’m next to a man obsessed with Dior. He is preparing a presentation on “Dior Pro Artists.”
His jacket is studded with staples. He has a Dior Homme bag. “CD” glasses, a grey black beard.
He is editing a Powerpoint slide with a caption that says “firstly I would like to say a very very warm welcome to Dior UK to MY Boss and to xyz who is my boss, the A customer.”
Thoreau: a squirrel isn’t just a rodent, but also a planter of forests… a seed contains the principle of growth, of life itself. Thoughts spring in a man’s brain in just the same way that a plant springs and grows by its own vitality.
We are “nature looking into nature.”
On a light blue training shoe the Nike swoosh hooks upwards at mid-foot where the metatarsals join into the phalanges. No socks but skin coloured tights. A flowery dress then a blue handbag. Bright red fingernails, a golden necklace, pink and white shirt opened up to the fourth top button.
I remember the man who sat opposite on a return trip from Doncaster last week. He seemed a bit unhinged. He covered himself with a blanket while typing on his phone, a security measure against prying eyes?