I never could get the hang of Thursdays

12/03/2010, 3:49 pm
Filed under: Writings

At first I thought it was de ja vu, but it wasn’t. I saw him yesterday morning in the same place, wearing the same scarf, at the same time. I am a commuter, for the moment. At 7.30 every morning I get the same bus down the same road with more or less the same people. We sit there not saying a word, the only noises are the squeaking brakes and iPod overspill. Everyone facing forwards, half asleep and not concentrating, facing forward like an army of drones. No-one wants to know anyone else.

The etiquette is to sit on your own if there is space, if not sit in the space with the people who haven’t put their bag down next to them. If not, stand and face forwards, if you look backwards you will get stared at.

We pass cyclists, Audis, shops in the following order; Tesco, Subway, Wetherspoons and countless takeaways with the shutters down. The road is busiest at this time of day, and again at about 5.30pm, the rush hours. I have no option but to join everyone else and creep along at a snails pace. Better than being stuck in a car and watching traffic lights I suppose.

I change busses, pick up The Metro, see hundreds of white-collar workers, sales executives, receptionists, Mac operators, quality controllers, customer service representatives, account managers, policy managers, web designers, recruitment consultants, network co-ordinator support officers, strategic engagement workers, business intelligence systems assistants,  iPhones, satchel bags and deli-sandwiches.

I step off the bus and walk for five minutes through “the bowels of the Manchester sub-terrain”, past disused mills, flats, corner shops, broken fences and boarded up pubs, roads that no-one use any more.

I sit at my desk, make a cup of tea and listen to the phones ringing. No-one has anything for me to do, so I write.


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