Monday, October 13, 2008
You’ve been travelling since that morning and now the sun is going down behind the hill at the end of a limpid autumn day and along with a dozen others you’re waiting at the little Victorian station at Great Malvern for the final train to take you home. Last leg of the journey.
The body itches and aches with travel fatigue, a day of sitting too long, not moving enough. You walk along the platform, pulling the suitcase behind you, and take a few photographs. It has been a good few days away, a respite from the reports of financial meltdown and a reminder of reality, of the nuts and bolts of living in close proximity with another person for more than three hours at a time. It can be done.
Back to the bench. Two teenagers walk over and sit down. Extremely 21st century, boyfriend/girlfriend, pale, dressed in black with spiky hair and a clusters of metal studs in nose, mouth and ears, they exchange sentences in a desultory fashion. At first sight they seem edgy, hostile even, yet their conversation becomes surprisingly conventional. College. Examinations. Friends. How to navigate through the next seven days without upsetting the parents.
You’re not used to young people these days except as the collective subject of doom-ridden news items. In spite of wariness and mammoth preconceptions, you warm to these two.
Nothing to fear here. Nothing to envy either, not really.
Behind us the cool moon rises, almost full.