So this is a habit, this thing where I document my train journey of the eve of a major election.
It’s an autumn evening: the sky is full of clotted clouds skimmed with setting sunlight. The previous train was so full that seasoned commuters sat it out, and now we’re on another with seats for all.
In front of me: a kind-eyed middle-aged office worker, and beside her is a beautiful young woman with a fluffy-capped baby swaddled tightly to her back. She’s truly lovely, but tired and resigned. She leans forward to make space for her sleeping little one – sometimes she puts her head down on her hands, and the line of her neck and shoulders remind me of Pavlova’s dying swan.
Muslim ladies scarved against the public eye, hipsters, gangsters, flirts, tired parents and busy businessmen – readers, gamers and dreamers – all rocking down the Southern Line into whatever future we’re all going to choose.
A man leads a blind man down the centre aisle: they’re singing hymns softly and collecting coins on the eve of our election. They come from a land that holds elections for nothing; clouds without water.
This is not a good life, but it’s a better life – what aisles are they going to walk if we fall?