It’s Thursday morning and I’m on a late commuter train to London. It’s an uninspiring affair. A gentleman just walked past, in his late fifties or so, SWEATING to be on this train.
No doubt he gets this train every day because it’s more financially viable to work in London and live in Kent, and perhaps he had children who he wanted to raise in the country and send to a quaint, Victorian school, while still generating enough income for daughter’s riding lessons and wife’s ever-evolving taste in flocked wallpaper, but he looks miserable.
Trussed up in his dark suit and mildly garish tie, M&S belt tightened underneath the belly that’s rounded from who-knows-how-many whiskey macs, grey hair turned ratty at the back from the sweat trickling down it and into his shirt collar, only to spend the rest of the day in sunny London, acutely aware that he smells faintly of B.O. in front of his younger, shinier colleagues who are all probably eyeing up tonight’s potential shag candidates, none of which are him.
Instead he will go home tonight to the microwave dinner that his wife has left defrosting on the kitchen counter for him, because she’s ‘off out’ playing tennis with Jean and Derek. He’ll open a bottle of pale ale and turn on an episode of Top Gear that he recorded earlier in the week on the 52″ Sky TV.
He’ll chuckle at the crass and dated humour of Jeremy Clarkson, the, ‘bloody good bloke’, and wonder what life would be like as him. Knee deep in Soho prostitutes at about this time of night, perhaps.
Mindful of his heightened blood pressure, he’ll have just the one more pale ale to wash down the ‘lighter choices’ spaghetti bolognese and, after contemplating what it would be like to be with a lady of the night, he’ll head upstairs to bed.
Licking the salty brown spaghetti stain at the corner of his lips, he’ll close his eyes to the sound of his wife coming home, hoping sleepily that she doesn’t notice that he didn’t use a coaster.