For the better part of 2007 and 2008 I commuted into London each day – leaving the house at 6:45am each morning, and returning at 7pm each evening. The door-to-door journey took in the region of two hours on a good day. Think about that. Four hours on trains every day.
Life became a weirdly automatic experience – hanging clean clothes in the same place each day, cycling through shirts, socks and underwear through the week, leaving wallet, keys, phone, and a book in the same place each night – ready to be picked up the next morning. Weekends became a chance to wash and iron everything worn throughout the week, ready to wear again.
While sitting on the trains, I read books, played video games, and procrastinated a lot. Some days – after sitting up the night before to avoid the coming of tomorrow, I would just sit and stare out of the window for the entire journey.
I regret not making any friends.
I saw the same people on the train almost every day for two years, and never said a word to any of them. They didn’t talk to me either. All it would have taken was a “hello”, and my world might have changed.
I think perhaps the reason I never took the chance is because I over-think everything. I always get on better with women than men (don’t ask me why), so would have been most inclined to talk to a woman than a man. I suppose a part of it could be grounded in the thought that if a man talks to another man, he’s going to talk about manly-man stuff – football, and cars. My line in conversation about football and/or cars is completely and utterly non-existent. This leaves me with a problem – because if I ever tried to start a conversation with a woman I don’t know, I would not only presume that she would think I was hitting on her, but I would also presume everybody else would think I was hitting on her too (or think I was just another dick head on the train that likes the sound of his own voice).
Anyway. I regret never taking that chance. I regret leaving the London commute after two years without a single acquaintance.