Thursday, 6 November 2008

Assessment Day

Standing on the dark platform at 6am I wonder why all these other people have to be up so early. On the train. I hate trains. I hate waiting on cold platforms. I hate working out which train I have to catch, at what time and from which platform. I hate having to put on my glasses so I can peer at the screen in order to work this out. I hate the rush on the platform. I hate having to work out whether or not I’m ‘in the first four carriages’. One my ray of sunshine is the people on the trains. I find the people on trains interesting. I want to know who they are, where they are going and how they came to be on this train. A life story from every passenger. Of course I never ask. People that don’t know each other don’t talk on trains. Yesterday there was the man wearing thick pink socks and brown shoes. The teenager who appeared to be going into work with his dad and the quite attractive man putting in his contact lenses, which I’m sure is going to go badly for him one day. There were no more than ten women in my carriage. I was the only one under 40.

On the tube a man wearing baggy dirty grey jogging bottoms scratches his crotch then appears to smell his hand. I try not to look too disgusted.

I forget about giving up smoking and buy a packet of cigarettes. Smoke one as I cross Putney Bridge. Turn left as instructed but notice the house numbers decreasing. Go right and find the building. Try to make a coffee but all the mugs are gone.

Create a production line making notepads from old newspapers, manage a best of 3 1/2. Are shocked to discover the VSO team made 10. Decide my interviewer isn’t quite as scary as he looks. Am slightly worried he thinks I’m alcoholic after sharing my insights on boxes of cheap wine. End the day by saying that apart from drinking more coffee I wouldn’t change anything as I had just been myself and that is all I could do. Can tell the people who are a little nervous and saying what they think they should. But think they are all lovely people and all deserve a place.

Smoke another cigarette crossing Putney Bridge. Stop to take a photograph on my phone of the Thames by night.

Underground again.

Train again. Packed like sardines, resent the business men with seats. There’s the man reading GQ. The man with a big wart in the middle of his bald patch and the man who gets on at Cambridge reading what I suppose to be a dissertation.

Indian Meal.



p.s. Got an e-mail today telling me I’ve been accepted! Go me

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