On the Road Again

We pulled out of Euston 1 minute early (that’s never happened before). Currently hurtling across North London, watching the grey skies, industrial units and suburbs whistle past the window. I’m squashed into the corner of a table on the train, next to a sizeable businessman. How does that happen ? How is it that two fairly big guys will always end up sitting next to each other on small train seats ? The businessman sitting across from me just lost the signal on his phone. Not funny at all, honest.

I had all the intentions in the world (obvious exaggeration) of reading a book on this journey, but my head is all over the place. I downloaded the first season of the TV show “Awkward” onto the Kindle this morning before leaving the house, and just watched the first couple of episodes. Here’s the thingit’s obviously aimed at teens and young twenty somethings, but the voice of the main character is old beyond her yearswhich changes the game entirely. Not only that, but she writes a blog during each episode. Her “voice” while writing is wonderfulobviously the product of a team of script writersbut wonderful nonetheless.

Perhaps that’s it? Perhaps this whole blogging game is really about the voice for me. I know in the past somebody likened my blog to the movie “Amelie”, which I hadn’t seen at the time. I watched it while doing this very same journey and almost laughed out loudit was like listening to my own words.

Writing with a particular voice is odd. Sometimes I slip into it as naturally as breathing, but other times it’s just not there at all. For exampleI might describe the businessman sitting across from me. He’s balding, writes in a notebook, and drums his fingers on his cardboard coffee cup. His writing is messy. He wears a yellow tie with a blue dot patterntied in a half windsor knot. There is an expensive looking metal watchsome kind of chronographon his wrist. Does this mean we can decide anything about him? Across the tableadjacent to meis his co-worker. A bigger man, with a blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He has talked almost non stop since leaving Londonstories about people he went to school with (he’s in his mid 40s)I have drowned him out by playing music.

A few minutes ago the train manager came past, checking tickets. I was busy watching the TV show on the Kindle and didn’t notice him standing there for ages. After a mad scramble I found my tickets and handed them over. I have no idea how long everybody else had been waitingnobody interrupted my TV show to tell me. I’m good at closing myself off from the outside world.

It’s already getting dark outside. It’s 3:30pm. I’m trying to remember if the night draws in faster as you travel north. It will be dark by the time I arrive in Preston. One taxi journey after arrival and I’ll arrive at the hotelmy accommodation for the next few days.

Finally I’m here in the hotel.

The thoughts about writing with a more personal voice have been bouncing around my head for the last hour or so (this post was written in dribs and drabs during the journey). I guess it kind of makes sense that a blog written by a teen in a TV show would be more personal, because teens are far more self obsessed. I guess you’re still finding out who you are during those years, so you’re far more inward looking. Then at some point you kind of know who you are, and begin looking outwardssuddenly the needs of others dominate your thoughtsand influence who you arewhat you think aboutwhat you do.

The strange thing is this blog is mine. The words belong to nobody else. The words are written by nobody else. The thoughts belong to nobody else. And it’s strangebecause writing a personal blog flies in the face of everything society tells us about being a grown up. We should have turned some kind of corner. Except I haven’tat least inside my headI’m still the gawky teen that never had a girlfriend, and still looking for some kind of recognitionfrom the cool kids. I’ll never be one of the cool kids, and I’m okay with that. I can see what happened to them on Facebook any time I likethey haven’t changed either.

I don’t think this post really has a point at all. It’s just me and my thoughts about anything and everything. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.