Saturday, February 06, 2010

Ghost of Christmas Past.

Five weeks ago.

I am walking up the stairs on a railway platform, preparing to cross the tracks. I am weary, unhappy, have traveled 1,200 miles in the past five days and am looking down the barrel of 400 more. Experience of my country’s excellent rail network tells me that I shall be alone with my own rather unpleasant thoughts for between four and seven hours. Excellent.

Still. At least I’ll be traveling alone. I don’t mind the anonymity.

A random man is coming down the same stairs toward me.

Random Man: Hello Tired!

What the fuck is this now? I’m several hundred miles away from home in a town I have not lived in for five or six bloody years. No-one knows me here.

Me: I don’t know who you are.

I don’t have the energy to be any less direct than that. I find it's often the best approach anyway.

Random Man: It’s Gareth!

Oh my sweet shitting Baby Jesus up in his heaven sitting on his cloud, it can’t be.

Please take a moment to check my post of June 6th 2006 to find out who ‘Gareth’ is. I’d do one of those ‘link’ things but can’t be arsed.

I blink at Gareth for a while. This really is too much.

Gareth: [Very excitable for some reason] Are you getting the 11.12?

Me: [Stupidly] Yes.

Great! Me too! Loads to catch up on! Just going to the cash-point! See you in a minute!

I stand stupidly blinking with my mouth open for a few minutes. This is terrible.

Of course, being a grown man I handle the potential awkwardness of sitting on a train for God knows how long with a person I really cannot bear in a perfectly adult, sensible manner.

By standing out of sight smoking a cigarette outside the station until the last possible second before the train departs and then jumping into the carriage furthest away from the one ‘Gareth’ has joined purely so I can avoid talking to the man, who is now on my very extensive list of people I have to avoid forever.


Blogger Pueblo girl said...

Would check the post you refer to, but your archives seem to have disappeared.

The distinguishing and worst feature of these people is that they never seem to know they're unwelcome company.

12:51 pm  
Blogger Ellie said...

I would have done almost exactly the same. Just without the ciggie.

In my head I would have fantasized about saying very politely, "I'm sorry Gareth, I really just don't feel like talking. I want some quiet time." But I would never manage and it would be the old evasion technique.

12:57 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

PB: You had me worried about the archive but it's hiding at the bottom of the page for some reason. And no, no they don't - which is symptomatic of their overall tiresomeness.

Ellie: I'm normally more forthright but I'd had most of the life kicked out of me by that stage and didn't have the energy.

5:28 pm  
Blogger punxxi said...

a direct fuck off usually works quite well .

7:30 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Punx: No doubt, but as I say, I wasn't really feeling up to snuff that afternoon.

9:31 pm  

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