(aka half a day in hell)
(aka What the fuck is going on ?)
It is Tuesday 19th September 2000
The alarm goes off. I hate getting up so fucking early so in half stupor I start calculating how many more minutes I can sleep.
The train goes from Waterloo at 0745....hmmmm....15 minutes in a cab. 5 minutes to get dressed. Cool - 20 more minutes.
I slap the 4 minute snooze....and again...and again. (as an aside, I'm completely convinced that these 3.5 minute naps are good for me).
At this point I notice it's raining so it occurs to me getting a cab might be harder.
Computer booting. Toilet. Toothpaste.
Bread + philadelphia.
Decided to check website of key supplier since I felt guilty having never heard of it at all (interwoven) - as it turned out didn't talk about it.
5 minutes later the fucking laptop is still trying to think about printing the product info pdf I downloaded off the site - took 2 pages (of 5) and ran.
Catch cab to Waterloo.
"Where are you off to mate ?"
"No I mean where are you going then ? Somewhere exciting ?"
[note I can tell that even he is disappointed by this - I think he probably wanted one of two things - something that 'is mate Bazza had been to last week like (Brighton) or something he's read about in Hello magazine (Monaco)]
At this point I'm thinking of putting my walkman on - but he segues into...
"I picked up one bloke last week going to waterloo....he lives in Paris."
"Well he doesn't really - he owns a big farm outside Paris. His wife and kids lives there [yes he did say liveS there] an' he commutes to London."
[pause...I can only presume for effect of this fucking historic career choice...]
"Wow." I manage.
"I know - what a life eh ? He has a flat in London that 'e lives in durin' the week and then on weekends e's off to the missus.....yeah.....but then again - must be hard cause he works really long hours. Don't know that I could deal with that."
[I'm completely lost at this point...waterloo seems so far away and I'm stuck with this analytical lunatic...]
"Some of my friends work in banks and I don't understand it..." I begin to try to make a point "They'll be working there forever."
Needless to say he misses this entirely.
"Yeah yeah they all work long hours."
"No I mean they all said they'll leave within a few years and now it's a few years later and they're leaving within a few years."
"Yeah yeah they work long hours for years...."
Fortunately roughly around here we arrive at waterloo.
Unfortunately I discover I've left my mobile phone at home.
That's fucking annoying.
Turns out the train is late by a few minutes.
Walkman on - lost in a world of early 80s.
The station is dirty. There's lots of unhealthy looking pasty faced motherfuckers milling around in suits.
I'm not hugely worried about anything at this point cause Bryan Adams just got his first real sixstring at the five and dime....
I find the train to Eastleigh at platform 12 (actually it's the train to Poole but given the context of this story that's not very relevant) and I get on.
This train is fucking shite personified. (wait...can a train be personified...??? probably not).
The door (get this) of the carriages opens onto other people's legs - literally...
Everything looks like the oldest carriages on the Northern line.
People look demoralised.
In addition to the pasty faced unhealthy motherfuckers there's a collection of 15 year permed hair regional accented slappers (future career path - hairdresser) and two shellsuit and black adidas wearing spotted skinheads (for whom being a builder is a step up in life).
Train is moving.
What the fuck am I doing here ?
The walkman's playing early Chris Isaak (with Helena in the video) but that's not enough to keep away the dreariness.
Where the fuck is my mobile phone ?
Within minutes we arrive at Clapham Junction and I felt, in a very literal sense, like a fish out of water.
I glanced across the platform to see the pile of people crowding onto the train going into Waterloo. Wow...
People actually do this. Every day.
Twice a day.
What the fuck is going on...?
Where are they all going ? What do they all do ?
I'm not sure I care but more to the point I'm not sure I know nor can even attempt to comprehend.
OK so I spend 90% of my life within the protected confines of W1 but this is a little ridiculous.
Do any of them actually want to be here ?
Perhaps they don't have a choice - but fuck it felt like the Stepford Yuppies out there.
They're all reading the same paper and having the same fucking conversations...
Is this the elite of the country ?
Why did I ever want to make any advertising if these are the consumers...
"D'you see that thing on telly last night....?"
"Phwoooar...look at the tits on that..."
"you know I couldn'ae fuckin' believe it when she did tha'"
"He is seeing her I know he is - honest he is"
I swear it felt like I was stuck in an episode of Eastenders and couldn't get out.
It wasn't even just my body - it was an assault on all senses - eyes, smell touch etc...
To make myself feel better I tried to read my Pilot's Air Law book....but the skanky smell of cheese and onion KP skips just made me look up....to nothing other than some 40 year old strange looking woman, chain smoking her way through a pack of Marlboro reds - she was dressed like some strange combination of a schoolgirl and a whore but she had a bright red ski jacket on to complete the ensemble...
Where the fuck is my mobile phone....
Arrival in Eastleigh.
Can't write any more...
To get an idea of return trip read paragraphs in reverse order - suffice to say to kill time I attempted to read GQ (all new NUDE pictures of Liz Hurley) that someone had left in the train.
I rest my case...
In fact - fuck my case....this country rests its case...