Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Here's my train


The roar of the engines and the blue fumes of diesel greeted him as he crossed across the platforms in the railway station. The slightly wonky and very analogue information board flipped through various versions of destination information  reality. Like some living Scrabble board it mixed the names of towns and times as it struggled to display the relevant departure information. A giant clockwork beast running down it's inner windings as he imagined elabourate and complex gears and workings spinning furiously behind the digits and letters. The journey looked straightforward. Change at London Euston and then onto Victoria, presumably by foot with local directional advice given freely all along the way. In the background the station Tannoy system seemed to perpetually argue with itself, there was no filter on the broad Liverpudlian advice that buzzed from the aging speakers, conveniently nothing actually said could be made out or understood.

Platform 2 was for London. Liverpool had been a brief stepping stone, London was likely to be more of a spiraling path, he wasn't sure. Portsmouth was something that might happen and that too was more of a stepping stone. London would require some money making, some kind of hustle and a bed for as many nights as possible. He had options, a bit like a hand in a one sided pontoon game, some might come up with the right numbers, but as for the others, who knows? These thoughts made him nervous. He truly had no idea where he was going. The journey represented an answer and a hurdle.

There was about a twenty minute wait before the next train so he found a bench. On a barrow nearby there were baskets of racing pigeons quietly cooing in anticipation of the freedom of the race. A space in the platform roof was allowing pieces of sky to send sunny beams down onto their wicker baskets. Their eyes like tiny lights searching out for hints of blue, directional information and clues as to the whereabouts of their only true master, the sun. The great orb that guided and encouraged them on journey after journey, race after race. Concepts they couldn't understand as they were simply deluded birds, masked and blunted by their calling to fly as freely and quickly as possible, guided by the sun and mysterious elements back to some cosy loft in Southport or Birkenhead where a warm perch and a prize of regular corn supplies awaited them.

He looked through the wicker work windows into the pigeon's temporarily cramped world and in turn they reacted with quiet indignation as if he was some kind of peeping Tom. They avoided his gaze at all costs with animal determination, it's not as if he was their manager about to administer a team talk of tactics before the game. No, all the whispering had been done a while ago, they were on their own on the leading edge of their competitive journey and so was he. There is such a thing as unexpected mental strength in all breeds and creatures. Flight as opposed to fight. "Oh, here's my train." A great green Deltic with a stripy yellow face was shunting a row of claret passenger coaches into the hungry platform siding.

No comments:

Post a Comment