Sitting on the train

Settled on an window seat: Great Western to London.  Comfortable.  A firm solid support holding my back rather more upright than it is during my usual sofa-lounging at home.

Subtle bumps felt through the seat, gentle and frequent, feeling almost like a steady vibration yet their irregularity showing that they are not.  I can imagine how the movement can entice one falling into sleep.


The soundscape is permeated by a continuous hiss of the wheels, or more likely the wind, or maybe a blend of both.  Soft, gentle, reliable.  A mild grind now -  perhaps we have crossed tracks.  Perhaps there was an anomaly on the rail, or a differing pressure from a gust of wind.


A denseness in the carriage air.  A warmish dull heaviness.  A normally indistinguishable smell of no noticeable features has a poignancy to it.  I have been in the countryside the last five days: the nose perceptions have re-calibrated to a new neutrality, making the usually daily smell of train carriage different, noticeable.


We’re slowing down. “Next stop Exeter St Davids,” is announced.  Standstill.  Commotion.  Movement of passengers being sensed, the steps and jostling of luggage transmitting through the carriage floor and up my seat.  A feeling best described as apprehension arising through my body – will someone invade my cosy personal space, which spans my seat and the one beside it?


An interest in having noticed this sensation, having it emerge in the field of awareness.  A little pat on the shoulder, a stroke of self satisfaction.


The commotion subsides.  The moving figures and items settle in seats and racks, the train is off and the carriage returns to its regular rhythm.  My personal space still has two seats.  Cosy.


A beautiful landscape of early-spring post-rain meadows presents itself outside.  Lush deep inviting green.  The view arousing a sense of soft cool texture, a refreshing living carpet.  Brushstrokes of white are scattered randomly: pools of rainwater reflecting the clouds.  How much they resemble snow!  A white sky of varying whitenesses, a jigsaw of fluffy clouds and small blotches of light blue.


The head rolls back, tended by the support of the seat. A heaviness envelopes the eyes. They are happy to close. Welcoming a good rest.


Author: JD