Letters to Autumn: The 2016 Edition 5

Dear Autumn,

The Train Gods.

They exist.

Commuting in and out of London 5 days a week convinces me of that fact. Sometimes they are good to you. Sometimes there are no issues with the trains, they leave on time, they get in on time. Sometimes if you are super lucky they even arrive early. There is no random drawing to a halt in between stations or in a tunnel (which most of the time I totally fine with, and sometimes (like Monday) where it dawns on me in a big way that I am in a fucking metal tube UNDER THE GROUND with no phone signal and I get a bit panicky). You just get on a train at point A and it gets you to point B with little fuss.

Most of the time however they are against you. It’s sometimes subtle. The train plods from Point A to point B but when you get off at pointB you discover that somehow the train got in later then it was scheduled and you have no idea where that time was lost but there was a false sense of security involved because there was no stopping or pausing or waiting around on a platform while the carriage got progressively colder because they never keep a train at a station when the doors are closed do they? Sometimes it’s mildly inconvenient. A couple of minutes here and there are manageable because delays happen.

But they don’t just stop there. If they did then I probably wouldn’t even comment on them, they are living their life and I am living mine, we would be living in near harmony with one another. But they don’t.

They enjoying doing this thing where they pretend that they are on your side and then they cackle in your face and walk away leaving you in a massive pile of inconvenience and mild (or major) annoyance. They put your train up on the departure board and say it’s on time then they cancel it and they cancel the one after it and the one after that. Then they offer the most pathetic apology ever and tack on the words ‘any inconvenience this may cause.’, you’ve cancelled the train during rush hour and there are a lot of people trying to get places, be that home or work on time I guarantee you that this sudden and poorly explained cancellation has inconvenienced everyone on the fucking platform.

They divert your train to a different station, which is fine for the most part, but they leave you in this state of confusion as to whether or not you’re going to have figure out your different route to your destination or whether you will be able to go your usual way. They tell you which way it’s going to go at the last possible moment and sometimes it goes your way, but most of the time you are cramming your way on an already rush hour packed tube with a bunch of other people who have also now had to unexpectedly get on a tube and personal space and enough oxygen becomes a thing of the past for however long you have to to endure that shit.

They let your train pull into a station and then hover on the platform for a few minutes with no explanation and let’ everyone sat or stood on this train get super confused before announcing, again without the slightest whiff of an actual explanation, that everyone on that train has to get off and push and shove their way onto an already busy train on the opposite platform, because why not?

They tell you that your train is a couple of minutes late. Then as the new scheduled time creeps every closer they add on another 5 minutes. Then they add on another 2 or 3. They then add on some more time. Then eventually your train either arrives to it is cancelled all together and you are left to repeat the process with the next train until eventually you lose your damn mind and ponder how much you really need to get anywhere (not gonna lie, this is kind of fine when going one way, but when it’s the other way the annoyance grows quicker because it’s the end of a long day and you just want your sofa more and more with each passing second).

Sometimes, they just decide that what your day really needs is to be sat on a train that just breaks down altogether. They leave you stranded on some tracks in some sort of barren wasteland until whatever the issue is is somehow rectified enough to get you safely to the nearest station and then you just sort of muddle along to get wherever you need to go. There is never a time in life where you need to be stuck on a broken down anything.

They mess with you in every way possible and super shittly for you there is almost nothing that you can do about it because unless teleportation somehow becomes a thing (or I guess if you could work from home, which I cannot) you kind of need the trains in order to go about day to day life (maybe not day to day for everyone, but it is for me). And that leaves you totally at the mercy of the bloody Train Gods.

Love, a girl who watched her train get progressively delayed at 8:20am and missed her first connecting train leaving her to hang around in Doncaster for nearly 2 hours…

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