Mind the gap
It’s slow, it’s rammed, trains go missing, and every stop is a pain in the ass. Like being stuck on the bus on Green Lanes for ages wasn’t enough – and just to cover about one mile and spare of a terribly trafficked road.
So I finally go down the station and hear “Next train in…” – God only knows when.
‘Ooooh come ooon..!’
Then you can’t board the first coming train, nor the second. Maybe you get lucky with the third or fourth. You squeeze in, your face splashed onto the door, the armpit of the guy next to you right across your head smells like a rotten shawarma, the killer breath of some girl on the other side and the bomb farts of some corporal terrorist who comfortably lets rip right in the middle of the train. They join forces to make your journey a memorable morning experience.
No complaints if it happened now and then but I kinda get the feeling that these people work in the TFL’s customer retention – or detention!
Result? I’m always late! At work, at night, when meeting friends. Thanks Shit-adilly Line!
Yet, it is the giant of the TFL, it is one of the most important lines in London – one of the longer and more paramount. It covers the distance from Cockfosters, through Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, to Heathrow or Uxbridge (depending on the branch).
Trust me, I was so damn relieved when I moved to another place away from that line. So relieved that I no longer had to suffer from disruptions, delays and packed platforms.
In the beginning.
After a while, I came to realise that I totally relied on that route, that no matter what it would always take me home. I thought of how fast and efficient it was in its non-peak hours, that I felt so safe that I didn’t even need to pay attention to the stops. I would always know when to get on and off – Mind the gap! – and whatever the distance, in the end I would always reach my destination.
But…yes… After a while, I began to feel the gap.
I realised I was missing something only when I had lost it.
Isn’t that what we all do?
We all realised it when he went missing, when he was gone. We all felt like an important part of our daily journeys was just over. So used to have him travelling around, so used to his presence, that now his empty desk laying abandoned in a sharp silence is the gap we mind the most.
Yet, he was the giant of our team – always reliable and paramount, although…
Although he was secretly going through his peak hours, running way too long distances, even for a giant.
Eventually, he had to slow down his journey and hasten his departure. He had to disrupt his roaming, delay his desires and take his belongings with him.
Ultimately, his train terminated here.
Good luck, dude.