‘Out of service’ the machine stares silently… ‘The other side!’ he thinks, knowing there is only minutes to spare.
Can he make it to platform 2, use the (seemingly empty) machine over there and then get back in time for departure at 07:29:00?
Too late, his legs are already moving; two, five, eight steps up. Rucksack strapped tight he bounds over the footbridge… ‘Must be quick, must be quick!’.
These ticket machines are not new to him, in fact he knows exactly what parts of their screens to touch and when: Mid-bottom left, Zones 1-6 travel card. Confirm selection, bottom right. Card in, PIN number, payment and Print! The whole process should take no more than fifteen seconds. He notes (as he dashes past fellow commuters, oblivious to his challenge), the merits of majoring in something so seemingly minor could be a point of amusement later today, but this is lost on him now, all he can hear is the train, there, already arrived on the now opposite platform.
‘Must be quick, must be quick’, he repeats his speedy refrain, ‘I must be quick, I must be fast. I mustn’t miss my train!’
Button, confirm, card. It’s so simple, he simply can’t complain.
‘I must be quick, I must be fast. I mustn’t miss my train!’
Alas, he can. ‘Coins and notes only’ the wretched contraption says ‘No payment cards today’. He has the cash, there’s a twenty in his wallet, he saw it there this morning. ‘£14.80’ the machine says, ‘Coins only, no payment cards today’. Time creeps forward, slowly ticking by. The purple note, it shines and glistens in this early morning Sun. Cash in, ticket out – ching ching sounds his change, now go – GO GO! You’re going to miss your train!
Three, six, nine steps up – swiftly swerving the elderly woman, as he reaches the top – race fast, quick now –
He laughs, loudly when at the start of his descent he hears the high pitch beep of the doors. Still grinning when he reaches the bottom, the train pulls away.
Damn thing left early.
Today is Friday August 21st, it’s now 12:59 and I’m sat at The Tuttle Club typing this all up. This morning I was a brief guest at Likemind, good chat and new people too. Then I was a guest of my new best friend, Dan Light at London’s IMAX for the ‘experiment in social marketing’ known as ‘Avatar Day’, (more on this later).
The footage was saw was simply stunning and, thanks to the really nice guys at Vue Cinemas, I’m going to see it again later on this evening.
I can’t wait.
As I said – More, later… I promise 🙂