On the move again, the gentle Rocking of the train from side to side as it glides over the tracks is normally enough to send me to sleep. Not today. I’m wired, have been since half six this morning.
It’s humid in the carriage, in that way that makes the clothes stick to your back and makes you grateful that it isn’t much busier.
Despite the fact no one remembers when it last rained, the blurry world outside the train as it cuts across wide country expanses is green. Which is only broken by Industrial sites and the odd English town, where electric trains pull into old Victorian stations.
I suppose that’s sort of a metaphor for what this tale is. A relic plunged into a fast paced technology filled world. Not in the way your friend Margot displays that old grandfather clock she bought at a flea market down town. I’ve been bought back for a purpose. Sure as hell ain’t going to be posing pretty.
As the train moves towards its destination I’m absorbed. Not like the girl behind me, speaking lyrically in a beautiful dialect. Its foreign nature forces me, in ignorance, to believe its just a mundane he said she said conversation of the early morning commuter crowd.
Maybe I’ve been away to long.
The changes I see round the carriage worries me. Everybody’s connected. Wires running in and out of them, like patients on a critical ward. Passively consuming whats being pushed. Waiting breath bated on the edge of their seats for the next drip from a corroded waste pipe to tell them a celebrity the fancy is or is not wearing any clothes today. As if in the latter case you’d be able to walk of the train and pick it of the rail at Primark.
Me, you might have guessed, I’m old school. In front of me is my pad, this one in your hands, and a postcard that’s best day was when it was actually alive as blue skies and full of tanned bodies.
Getting funny looks from the folk round me, who at this hour boards a direct train to the airport sans bag to put in hold, or at the very least a bunch of flowers for those your meeting. Put it this way, I wasn’t totally planning that this was what I’d be doing today.
Routine, It’s something I relish. Having taken early retirement to pursue a shot at he pickett fence package and its accompanying condiments, the Friday routine I was accustomed to, ran smooth as a well oiled gear. I’d rise, read the paper to the background sounds of an early morning news magazine on public radio, walk the dog, all before heading to the pub for a slow drink that would merge afternoon and evening in a blurry sunset less haze.
Now I don’t get post, over than hedge your bets mass mail outs to ‘the occupier’, and the occasional Christmas card from Shirley and Barry who don’t know norms been in the cold and dark for almost a decade. So when something with my name came through the door, well the hairs on the back of my neck could have lined a dart board.
All it was, and needed to be, was a blood soaked postcard. No words, No Name, Nothing. Just a brightly fronted card, with dark brown, unmistakable smudges. Quite literally bad blood. It had been delivered by hand, having arrived to early for the post.
I put on an old suit, grabbed whats in front of me now and was gone.