Ghost of Christmas Past.
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.
Gareth: 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.