This blog contains book reviews, comments on interesting things and a smattering of self promotion. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Another Travelin' Story (or 'How Curriosity Almost Killed the Luke')

I'm sure that if anyone actually reads this they will be keen to point out that I haven't technically written any travelling stories on here (that is, if they care enough to make such allegations). This is, admittedly, true. The title actually refers to the fact that the events of this blog happened in a train station, while I was listening to Another Travelin' Song by Bright Eyes.

As I mentioned before, I was at a train station. To be more specific, I was at Wolverhampton train station, on my way to my girlfriend's halls of residence after a nine hour shift at work (at a cinema, in case you were wondering). It was around twenty to eleven. I was walking through the station's foyer area. It is much the same as the foyer area in many mid-sized modern stations. There are ticket booths, automatic ticket machines which give you a discount if you choose to travel with Virgin, a small branch of WH Smith's and a linoleum floor, patterned in nondescript shades of yellow and reddish-pink.

On this floor was a yellow cone to warn those passing through that it was wet, which incidentally, it wasn't. I barely noticed the cone as I walked past, more concerned with what I might eat when I get in than the possibility that I might slip and die at the train station. I had almost reached the red automatic doors when I heard a clattering noise. Not the train-like clatter of drums coming from my headphones, but the clatter of something falling over. I turned to see the wet floor sign sliding ironically across the linoleum. A quick look suggested the smirking young man with the gelled black hair was the most likely suspect. Minor distraction over, I turned back towards the doors.

'Yeah, I kicked it!'

This voice did not belong to the smirking youth. Again, I turned my head, this time to see a large, goatee-bearded, skin-headed man somewhere between his late thirties and mid forties. He looks as if he would probably play rugby with gorillas if rugby wasn't a posh nancy-boy's game, an prefers instead the more manly game of football hooliganism. Apparently he mistook my mild curiosity for disapproval. Smirk-boy is walking beside him, now struggling to stop himself from laughing.

Still not really interested, and at this stage not even entirely sure he was talking to me, I passed through the automatic doors. At this point he shouted again, and with the instinct of someone who has been shouted at many times (thanks to my years as a teenage rocker in Kingstanding) I knew instinctively that I was the intended target. The tone was threatening, but the actual words were obscured by my headphones. This, as I'm sure my tutor will point out, was a schoolboy error for an aspiring writer. Observation is the key to everything. If I was going to play heavily with poetic licence I would say that the words in the song at this point were 'I'll kick and scream or kneel and plead/ I'll fight like hell to hide that I've given up', but in truth I can't remember. It seems I've sacrificed part of a half decent anecdote to listen to a song which I wasn't even paying that much attention too. I digress.

I looked back at the man and made a shrugging gesture. One which I hoped would convey 'I don't really care if you kicked the cone, I just wanted to know what the noise was', but which I fear may have translated as 'you wanna go, I'm ready for you'.

I walked away from the train station with a vague feeling that I was being followed, but as far as I am aware the man and his smirking companion were actually just crossing the road behind me to get into one of the waiting black cabs.

Then I went to Asda, and saw Ainsley Harriot buying some things. Which will hopefully add some celebrity glitz to what has turned out to be a slightly rambling blog.

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