Eyes Open

Note: This is the last of my posts written whilst on the train home on Thursday.

Hotel life is odd. I don’t think i could be the travelling businessman, constantly moving from one hotel room to another, eating over-priced, rather average food, and ultimately being very very lonely.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice for a time and I’m a friendly enough guy that I can, and do, strike up conversations with strangers. I’m not shy and can usually spend 20 minutes or so chatting to someone before it starts getting too awkward. But then I’d think 20 minutes is about right. If you don’t have anything in common or haven’t start to find a common ground by then it’s probably time to cut your losses and head to your room and the myriad of entertainment possibilities it contains.

It’s a bit like being a big kid I guess, staying at a hotel. You know someone else will clear up after you so if you end up in a twin room then you CAN use one to eat dinner in, gorging yourself on room service pizza and ice cream, then leave the crumb filled sheets to sleep in the other bed. You can push the beds together and spend a hugely entertaining 6 minutes trying to extract yourself from between them when you forget and try and sit down in the middle. And that’s all before you realise that the door is locked, no-one can see you and you really can wander around naked with nary a neighbour in sight, as it were.

At this point I would like to mention that I am not obsessed with wandering around naked, I know I have mentioned it recently but it is not something I actively consider of a morning.

Masturbation on the other hand… (is very tricky… badooomksshhhhh).

In saying that, there is the image of the lonely businessman sitting on the edge of the bed, tissues in hand, watching porn. I think those days may be long gone with everyone and their mother now owning laptops and freely available internet access, opening the full gamut of pornographic content and allowing any kinky indulgence to be enjoyed. No longer must those poor lonely wankers suffer soft-focus, third-rate kicks. Or so I’m told.

Hold up, did I say freely available internet access? Of course I meant the £15 an hour option, or possibly a flaky and unreliable wireless connection which makes the chance of orgasm all the more inprobable, the moment of ectasy stolen away because “You have lost your wireless connection”.

I pause at this point, not to consider what I’ve just written (I’ll leave the sex blogging to those who do it so much more eloquently than I) but because as I am writing this on the train and the most STUNNING double rainbow has just leapt into view. Half the carriage is oohhhing and ahhhhing, and everyone now shares a small smile, a shared moment, a connection. Such simple yet glorious moments should not be missed.

Bugger, it’s disappeared behind a hill. Where was I?

Ohh yes, train journeys. I’m sitting at a table and across from me is another young(ish) man and we are both pecking away at the keyboard of our pristine white MacBooks, both connected by headphone cables in an attempt to block out the rest of the occupants. He didn’t see the rainbow, steadfastly refusing to raise his head, uncurious (incurious?) as to all the fuss and pointing, almost perversely enjoying the isolation. How sad.

It is one thing to enjoy and embrace technology, quite another to lose track of those small moments of human connection that define life. A shared conversation in a hotel bar, the acknowledged embarassment brought by a quizzical look of a maid wondering why she has two beds to clean, a dazzling shimmering light bringing colour to a dour train carriage. These are the moments of life.

It sounds twee, and anytime I start to pondering the joy of such simple things I always have one image in my head, stolen from celluloid, a white polythene bag caught in the wind, swirling around with the leaves.

Such things are all around us, you just need to raise your head to see them.