Having stumbled out of the house early so as to pick up a parcel waiting for me at the post office, I was a tad bleary eyed when I boarded the train. As ever I engrossed myself in the fabulous Metro (the internet; printed) and it took me sometime to notice that I was on the wrong train.
It was certainly going in the right direction but no, it was definitely the wrong train. A small flutter of panic rose in my chest (a distinctly unpleasant sensation, especially when you had to rush out of the house without having breakfast) but I choked it back and slowly glanced around the carriage with a rising dread.
I didn’t recognise anyone.
I checked out of the window to confirm that, yes, we were still heading towards Glasgow. This was most odd.
I lay no claim in being able to recognise all of the usual commuters who get the same train as I do, but you do become accustomed to them. Ms. “Walks very slowly and never smiles”, the “look at us we’re GORGEOUS” twins (both sets), and that old crone who talks too loudly. Then there’s Blackbeard the Pirate (I’m convinced that one day he’ll remove an everyday item from his beard, Captain Caveman style), the tall couple (both over 6′), there are even a few normal looking people (myself distinctly not included) and a couple of devastatingly beautiful people too. I digress.
So here I was, sitting on a train which was travelling in the correct direction and yet still I had this weird sense of disjointedness. Like I’d slipped between the cracks of the normal into a parallel world where things were the same but different. I considered this ridiculous notion for a while and realised there was bugger all I could do about it so I set about finishing the paper.
The train pulled into Glasgow Central and I joined the rugby scrum to get off the train; literally as there were five very large gentlemen wearing kilts and rugby shirts, presumably headed for Twickenham. Either that or they were on their way to some weird Scottish sporting fetish club but I’ll never know for sure as I didn’t have the balls to ask if they were wearing PVC thongs under their kilts (which of course is not the ‘done thing’… er.. wearing anything under a kilt that is, not specifically the wearing of PVC thongs).
As I alighted on the platform – pausing only to put out the flames – I looked for some sign that I was still in my world. Where was she? She sat there every morning, golden blonde hair gently flowing, those piercing blue eyes concentrating on her book, the soft curve of her breasts… ahem… where was I?
She wasn’t there. The one constant in my morning travel WASN’T THERE. The mild fluttering of panic returned and started to grow. I dashed up the stairs to street level, flying past the ticket inspectors and out into the drizzle of a Glasgow morning. Still checking for some indication that I wasn’t going mad, or was still asleep, my furtive glances became neck snapping swivels as I tried to see something, ANYTHING that resembled my normality. By the time I reached the corner shop I was three glances away from madness. Insanity beckoned me, arms spread wide.
I pushed open the door intent on asking the next person I clapped eyes on just what, in the name of Peter Kay, was going on!!
“Alright doll, whit dae ye want?” her dulcet tones rang out over the clanging of the bell above the door.
Reality shoves panic out of the road with a cleated boot to the backside. I order a roll and square sausage. My day is back on track.