A Subway named Desire

Commuting back and forth to work we come across familiar faces who are complete strangers to us. Sometimes after a while you might find the time to nod at these passing acquaintances. Furthering the friendship, conversation can be entered into. This is where it gets tricky. Soon flaws could be found in the character of your new buddy and try as hard as you can to avoid future contact, you’re stuck with him.

A good idea could be to shift allegiance and attempt to engage with a different traveller who, hopefully, will reciprocate your friendship. Worryingly, a ménage a trios could be formed whereby the original friend joins in the conversation. You can use this to your advantage by limiting your input to the chat gradually until you have left them to their own devices and returned to peaceful anonymity.

However, when sharing the same subway section with the usual collection of human beings if a regular passenger has disappeared all manner of variables go through your head: Has he/she a new job, change of hours, moved to another town, been sacked, unwell? And then you wish you took the time to get to know the person better. They have an affinity with you; they’ve been riding in your carriage for years. Even a friendly smile would not have gone amiss. Now, that face is lost forever, like a pen.

Sometimes love can be found in the claustrophobic sweaty air of the warren; tales of romance in the subway are not the stuff of myth. Many’s the time innocent introductions blossom into love watched by fare paying chaperones enjoying this real life Mills and Boon affair. Petrol stations and book shops are losing their allure for lonely hearts as the clack-clacking of the underground becomes a tunnel of love.

Informing an unattached friend of my observations of these trysts he has now changed his mode of travelling to utilise the subway in his endeavour for relations with the opposite sex. He’s still on the tracks, poor soul, and it’s a pity he doesn’t live in London or New York. Compare the sizes.com.

Small in stature, uncomplicated in structure the Glasgow underground has one beautiful stop that is the true love to millions.

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11 Comments on “A Subway named Desire”

  1. Hello JW – this post is Brilliant and conjures up fond memories.

    At 25, I used to wonder on my 10 minute train to Leeds every day from'T Suburbs, why we kept our distances from the faces we'd grown to Know (& not infrequently Fancy), So Well.

    One day the train ground to an unaccustomed halt for some engine-type reason, and we all had to climb out and Walk to the station.

    Much hilarity & dyb dyb dyb as we helped each other clamber onto the track in our suits & heels, and totter along to the platform. It was like a party – we chatted gaily & bid each other cheery farewells. We were a changed community!

    So the next morning…

    Not A Bloody Word did anyone utter.

  2. JW10 Says:

    Hi Dolores,

    Great story. You should expand this into a screenplay. Maybe throw in a few wild dinosaurs into the mix and you're on a winner!

    It is funny how awkward we become around fellow commuters. Another comical situation could be when you meet a commuter in a different place, restaurant, library, whatever.
    “Do I know you from Somewhere?”

  3. Expat Says:

    No bad train experiences but I have several times been in the position of being stranded overnight by an airline due to weather and spending the evening with fellow “strandees” in a hotel bar….lots of war story exchanges and cameraderie and the next day at check-in…nothing.

    Airships that pass in the night.

  4. Dinosaurs with ASBO's, JW – fantastic idea! and digging the allotment – Unrecognisable without laptops…

    I remember running into a colleague on a topless beach – all of a sudden we could have been Vestless in Basingstoke High Street – the Shame!

  5. Expat – how wonderful! – your life is filled with thrills & debauchery!
    Did you ever bump into the same Airship twice? (have you seen “Same Time Next Year”)?


  6. Expat Says:

    Oh, Dolores! Not very thrilling! First you have the hours of waiting before the last flight option is actually cancelled (they never tell you until they have to). Then you have to fight with the airline to pay for your hotel. Then you have to re-schedule and hope your checked luggage catches up. Then you're up up at some ungodly hour to catch the re-scheduled flight. Not to mention the hotel bar bills!

    As for debauchery…your topless beach beats anything I could come up with, you wanton woman!

  7. JW10 Says:

    Hello Expat

    As a very infrequent flier I haven't experienced any lenghty delays before flights. I love the luggage conveyor belt and the excitement of seeing your case heading up the track toward you. In complete holiday mode, always I want to shout “And a CUDDLY TOY!”

    Dolores, I am covering my eyes.

  8. Hello All,
    Sorry I'm late! I've been busy relocating from Tenerife to England for the summer (Summer? What Summer?).

    I like the Glasgow underground map because it looks as if you can arrive at your destination without worrying which way the train is heading. So you can get to know twice as many commuters…

    But I like the chap who crossed the English Channel sitting in his own comfy chair suspended by pretty helium balloons, which he popped with his air pistol to negotiate a happy landing in a cabbage patch.

    And if you can chat up a fellow traveller in the underground then what's to stop you at an altitude of 1,000 feet? Hmmm… I think I'll try it with my chaise longue 🙂

  9. Expat – Oh… Yes, I can see you have suffered for your airships. (I still wouldn't mind meeting one, though – the only “strandees” I cavort with are waiting for the weekly bus to Market).

    Hello CI, and how is England-our-old-country?
    Helium travel – sounds dreamy, if slightly perilous. Have you advertised seats on your chaise longue?

  10. JW10 Says:

    Hello C.I

    Welcome back to England's green and pleasant land. Happy days.

    I'll buy a first class ticket on that chaise longue. Does that get me the TV remote?

  11. Yes, I'm always taken aback by the lush green of the trees, hedgerows and fields when I arrive back in England. It's such a contrast to the dry lunar landscapes and ravines of southern Tenerife.

    But all this chat about air travel reminds me of an experience at Atlanta airport, when weather problems had forced a diversion of my plane from Chicago to New Orleans.

    The plane was full, awaiting take-off, when an airline manager entered the passenger cabin and called for our attention. He said that he had a number of potential extra passengers for the flight, and he was asking if any us were willing to give up our seats in exchange for an overnight stay at a first-class hotel, with free dinner and breakfast, plus 20 dollars spending money. He asked for a show of hands if any of us wanted to take up the offer.

    Not a single hand was raised, and the airline manager left the cabin.

    He returned five minutes later with a better offer, which included 50 dollars spending money. Again, not a single hand was raised to signify acceptance.

    Would you believe it, he returned a few minutes later and offered 100 dollars spending money.

    I'm not sure what happened next, because my sight was obstructed by a forest of raised hands and a stampede towards the cabin door…

    JW, the remote is yours! (but it's 20 dollars extra for the end of the chaise longue with the arm rest!)

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