Trained veterans

On the train this morning, on the way to work.  Chuckling at something in a Charlie Brooker book, I looked up from the on-page lol-inducer.  Blink, the train lights went out.  Not all of them, they went into ‘Emergency Mode’.  Two lights remained, one at each set of doors.  Staring down the carriage seconds before the darkness fell, I was in prime position to observe reactions as it happened, like the first person to nudge a friend as they spotted Green Goblin flying in to pumpkin bomb the hell out of everyone.

And what was the reaction?  Almost nothing.  Me and a chap across from me looked around, understandably confused by the sudden darkness.  The rest of the passengers barely flinched.   A few continued to try to read, as if nothing could keep them from finishing the Metro, not even being unable to see.  Are these people so trained by the routine of commuting that they’ve seen all this before?  Has everyday working life created a special supercommuter, a species capable of holding onto the habit of their daily travel, no matter the obstacle?

I’ve seen the supercommuter before.  They are impressive.  You’ll only see them at one of the bigger stations, like Glasgow Central.  They can somehow get onto a train while reading a book, not even having to pause and glance up from it, never mind thumb the page, as they find a seat or post up in the gangway.  If the train is busy and they’re crammed in with passengers against the doors, they still manage to read, completely unfazed, with the book mere inches from their face.  These people are a new breed, a heartless, efficient, commuting machine.

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