That’s the trouble with catching trains in this country. ‘What is?’ you might ask, irritated by the fact I started off this entry as if I had already told you. Well the fact they’re fucking useless, is at the very least mildly irritating.
And when whichever one you’re waiting for is inevitably late (because if it was on time it would only confuse people), you get a nice women saying over the tannoy, “I’m sorry, but the 18:22 to London Paddington is delayed by seventeen minutes.” Except the nice women is a recording controlled by a computer.
In fact she always seems slightly amused by the whole situation. Maybe someone had told her a knob joke just before the recording, and much as she knew her voice would become a symbol of commuter misery, was unable to hide her amusement and indifference.
They could have recorded it again, given it one last shot at conveying a single ounce of regret. But they didn’t have enough time as she had to record her “I’m very sorry” version of the message for those trains over twenty minutes late and the “I am personally devastated” version for those cancelled at birth.
But she pays for it now. Every statement she makes is believed insincere. “I’ve heard it all before.”, they would say to her. “They’re just empty words, you don’t mean it.”
And so she sits alone, in an empty, dirty flat, with only a bottle for company, wishing that on that day in the recording studio, she’d cared just a little bit more.