I could have sat on that train for a day, quite happily. In the event, the journey was only eighteen minutes, and I stepped off wishing it had been a flight to Singapore. The luxury of sixteen hours without moving or interacting. My forehead pressed to one small “O” of window, while the wriggling red and green deltas of Malaysia crawl past, dumping pale clouds of silt into the Malacca Strait.
Some days – for no reason I can fathom – I find I’m stuck in a blissful state, lacking words, living in a joyously overwhelming world of sensory experience without indulging “I”. I’m present without opinion, without time. Perhaps surprisingly, I get a lot done on those days, and done well.
On those days, life is enormously beautiful.
On the way back, my eyes got hooked on the clouds. The little nacreous rainbows at their bottom edges, the stripes of light falling between them, revealing the murky London air and down, onto the grey river, onto the grey buildings. We passed the London Eye, and its pods shone in the sun. There was a man kneeling on the new glass roof where part of Borough Market used to be. Then we passed the Shard. Then it was just the sky and new buddleia leaves, not dull yet with city dust, and the again-again-again of the track, the brown brick walls. Another train, going in the opposite direction to us, pulled past and the straight carriages and the curve of the track meant it veered near and away, near and away as its length rolled past. It looked as if the train’s flanks were heaving with great breaths.
The bus was waiting for me, when I arrived at the station. The cats were waiting for me when I arrived home, and I put everything down – I had bought all the things I needed to, and even remembered a couple of things that weren’t on the list. I realised that it was five o’clock and I had not spoken yet, today.
I rubbed the cats’ fuzzy little heads and called them soft names and life, life was grand today.