You live and learn. At any rate, you live
The doors slid open. The crush began. Weary business-people began to battle over their access to the exits, and by extension, their dinner. 1000 children were waiting for their mommies and daddies to get home, from a hard day at work. I hung back for a moment, announcements, footsteps and the screeching of brakes ringing in my ears. I could see, past the amorphous mass of suits, a list of all the trains delayed or canceled. Many children weren’t going to be seeing their parents that night.
Once the tidal wave of flesh had mostly subsided, I slipped out of the train joining the current of people flowing towards the exit. Fidgeting with their ties and clutching their briefcases, longing to discard them both. Despite their hunger, they washed right past the cafes and convenience stores. They probably had some leftovers at home. Most had their eyes fixed on the doors, imagining the salvation that lay beyond.
There were some odd ones out of course. Parents, with teenage children clearly more interested in their phones than the day trip that they’d just been on, or the dinner they were soon to have. An irate German couple were arguing with a ticket officer, in somewhat broken English. The Costa had just closed, and couple of their attendants were purchasing pasties from a nearby store. Not a single professional strayed from the safety of the stream.
A group of rowdy football fans shoved past me, beer bottles swinging by their sides. I could smell the alcohol on their breaths as they headed for the car park. They looked like they could do some damage, a hypothesis that was proven when they knocked into a group of people wearing a different coloured scarf. The ticket officer quickly gave up with the German couple. It didn’t look like the situation ended well.
Finally, however, I had been swept outside. I was surrounded by a veritable sea of people, weaving this way and that. I managed to struggle towards the taxis, but I wasn’t going to be boarding soon. Drunks and smokers surrounded me, from a staggering 40 year old man to a giggling group of girls, likely no older than 16, smoking outside a derelict restaurant. The line finally disappeared and I managed to board a taxi.
Finally. My own little bubble of calm. I could see the chain-gang of white-collar workers continue to wander this way and that as the taxi pulled away. The driver was quiet as he drove, and I had almost dozed off by the time we made it back to my apartment. I paid him, and hurried to my door, fumbling my keys. I finally managed to get in, football scarf brushing against my face as I entered. I pulled off my tie and threw it aside, rushing to the fridge, finding some cold pizza and one last bottle of beer. I took it all, before slumping on the couch, and grabbing the remote control.