5. Thursday on the tube

In my last post I shared the 5 reasons why I started blogging again. Number 5 needed some explaining so here goes.

Last Thursday I was thinking a lot about remembrance. So much so that my brain started to hurt and I needed to write stuff down. This has happened a few times recently and so I’ve been collecting these in my phone or on my laptop. Anyway, I left work on Thursday and wanted to finish off my writing about remembrance while it was still in my head.

I got on the tube at White City and took out my laptop. As I tapped away people got on and others got off around me. I wasn’t really aware of the man sitting next to me at all until I finished typing and closed the window I was working in. And then something odd happened…

This guy next to me took out his right earphone and said – “aww I was reading that.” Like most commuters I am used to people reading over my shoulder. I work on 3 out of my 4 train and tube journeys everyday either on my phone or laptop so I’m accustomed to a certain level of intrusion that comes when curiosity meets boredom. What was unusual was this guys willingness to put himself out there and turn himself in as an over the shoulder peeper. I smiled politely and told the defendant (although having confessed his defence was surely shakey) that it was just some thoughts from my day. He then did the unthinkable by asking – “Could I read the rest of it?”

Woah woah woah, this is way beyond the rules of London travel. The fact that we were talking was bad enough, he’d been caught (albeit by confession) reading over my shoulder, that’s one thing but to then front up ask to read the rest well I was…..I was….well actually I was really flattered so I opened it up again to let him read.

I don’t know much about this guy, we didn’t swap names or suggest another meet-up but what I do know is this – he’s an out loud reader. And so as we sat on the packed central line train he began to read out loud my thoughts on remembrance.

He smiled when I was being light-hearted and nodded his head when he agreed with something and when he finished he said “I liked that, I’m glad I met you today”. He then put his headphone back in and resumed the position of a London commuter with eyes front and music on. As I got off the train he patted my shoulder, mouthed “thanks” and we parted ways.

I don’t know why he was glad he met me that day. Maybe, like me, he doesn’t always know what to say in slightly awkward situations and he went for something that sounded good in his head. Maybe he really was glad to have met me that day, maybe it was one of those ‘right place at the right times’ moments for him. Maybe it was one of those for me.

What I do know is that a blog I’d restarted a month before but told no-one about was reopened and I started blogging again. And my first post after that was all about remembrance.

So thank you Mr Reads Out Loud Central Line Man…I’m really glad I met you that day.


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