Rushing across town

Right. Here we go. New Year. It’s happening. I’m about to get on the tube to Richmond. Me and my fucked up shoulder are going to see the new decade arrive in a garden in the suburbs. There will be a few close friends and a lot of alcohol. I have no idea how it’ll pan out. I’m already feeling overwhelmed by people and that’s just through having to open up and be Scrooge for the penultimate time this year. I was quietly waiting in a corridor just now when somebody asked me what my price per hour is for one to one coaching. I told him I’m thrilled he’s asked but I’m decompressing a show and I can’t give him a sensible answer. Brian and Mel and Rob and Amy are here as well, but I’m leaving. I’m out. I’m pulling myself out of this party with an hour and a half to midnight and I am getting on that train to the suburbs. I’m doing it. It’s on. Here we go. This is leaving the party Al, leaving the party…

Well. So far I’m still at the party but mostly because I’m dependent on Tristan to get to his and he is just as bad as I am at leaving the party, if not worse. I’m standing next to a suitcase as he rolls another cigarette and makes conversation with people. In fact most of the people at this party are leaving the party to go to another party and we are now wishing them all happy new year before going to our party which we might not even make it in time for. “We’ve got 20 minutes to get to Waterloo,” says a suddenly galvanised Tristan. Right then. We can do this. Movement.

We made it to the platform at Bond Street. Tristan is now saying numbers to us in his authority-voice. “8 minutes we have, to get to Waterloo to platform 24 – it usually takes about 4 and a half minutes we’ve got 8. If we miss this we have to go back to Westminster and get on the tube.”

Westminster station is closed, for the fireworks. Too many people. It’s ramjammed in this tube going south from Bond Street. He’s carrying a huge suitcase. It feels like rush hour but drunker. I mean, wherever we are for midnight it’ll be a place. But I’d definitely prefer not to be on a night bus as the decade turns.

The platform is the other end of the concourse. We’ve got four minutes. We are on the up escalator.

Crowds at Waterloo so they constructed labyrinths. Then we sprinted through the crowd. Made it with a minute to spare onto the train. Tristan is swearing with a stitch. I’m sprawled out getting my breath back. Our guard has just told us that this is the best train to be on this decade. I’ll take his word for it. He has just made a second announcement panicking that some of the loos in the train aren’t working which casts his earlier assertion into doubt.

Have a great New Year, you lovely lot. I’m on my train. Now I can relax.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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