As I wake up, it takes me a while to work out where I am. This is normal.
I stand in the shower and will myself into life. Into action. Ok, maybe not into action, but certainly into life.
On the train last night I saw an American guy get his wallet stolen. He lost lots – dollars, euros, cards and I.D. No doubt there’s someone in Dordrecht who’s waking up with his new Illinois driving licence.
The thing that struck me was that no-one cared. And to be honest, neither did I. But he wasn’t travelling alone – he was with his brother – yet even the brother didn’t care. The guard told him to report it when the train got to Brussels, and I can only imagine how well that went down with the Belgian police.
Anyway, it seemed to me that the American was a bit of a nuisance, and that his brother felt that he got what he deserved. It reminded me of someone I knew a while ago. A grown man with a serious job who cried, inconsolably, for twenty minutes at Bristol temple Meads station because his train had been cancelled and he would miss his connection at New Street.
I couldn’t look him in the eye for the whole journey northwards, and conversation was limited.
He got off the train at Birmingham New Street and I stayed on. A passenger tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘there’s someone waving at you out there – do you know him?’.
‘I used to’ I replied.