My extras

21 May

I’m beginning to think I should name the people I see every day on my trip to and from work.

Oddly, there are hardly any people I see every day getting on the same train as me. I think this is because I don’t get the most popular commuter train, but the later, cheaper one frequented by tourists and people not really in a hurry to get anywhere. But once I get to Reading, there are a few people I see almost every morning.

Most notably, Beardy Man With Umbrella. Beardy Man with Umbrella (or BMWU, if you will), walks down London Street as I am walking up it. If I meet him about halfway up, I am arriving at my average time. If I meet him at the bottom, crossing the IDR, I am running late. If I see him in town, I’m in trouble. If I don’t see him at all, I’ve generally got on an earlier train. Why is he always carrying his giant umbrella, even in the current summery weather? We may never know. But he always looks cheerful with his flowing white locks and a spring in his step.

Today for the first time I saw dear old BMWU on his way home – on the bus! It made me wonder whether he walks to work and gets the bus home every day, since I never see him on foot in the evening. Maybe I’ll peer through all the bus windows on my way home, look out for him to try and work out where he’s going and where he lives. Maybe I should get some professional help. Like a private detective.

Aside from BMWU and CGWOTGS (Cute Guy Who Opens The Guitar Shop), the other character of note with a regular cameo in my life is Mafia Guy. I pass this bloke near the train station on my way home each day. And I mean seriously, he really, really, looks like a mafia boss. He’s a huge, Italian-looking guy who wears a black suit and coat and a black fedora, with bags under his eyes and a half-grown beard. If he isn’t in the mafia, I really have to wonder what he does and why on earth he dresses like that. Extremely fearsome club bouncer is the only other possible occupation that springs to mind.

When I get off the train in Oxford I am often joined by How Do I Know You Guy. It’s really starting to annoy me now. I think HDIKYG works in Reading and lives here as well, and I think I know him somehow from uni days, but I cannot put my finger on it or remember his name. I try to avoid his gaze in the fear that he will see me and shout, “Hi! I thought it was you! How’re you doing?” and I still won’t have a clue who he is.

However, I am usually comforted by being let through the ticket barrer by Paul Robinson Guard. If you’ve been to Oxford station, you must have seen Paul Robinson Guard. He’s the one who looks just like Paul Robinson. Minus the wooden leg… Although, I keep meaning to try and take his photo, so perhaps at the same time I will make a dive for his leg to confirm whether or not it’s real. That can only end well. I’ll keep you posted.

Today I wondered whether BMWU evaulates his trip to work by where on London Street he passes me. SGHTS (Short Girl Humming To Self)..?


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