Powers of Observation

On the train home, I usually sit in the same part, right at the front. At the station I get off, the exit to the station is opposite the front of the train and I just like getting straight off and on my way. As at Waterloo, the platform entrance is at the back of the train, I know that I’ll walk the length of it wherever I sit, it just feels better to have a shorter walk at the end of the journey.

My preferred sitting position allows me to observe a few peculiarities of human behaviour- the attempt o get through the locked door. Mnay people just walk right up and try and get through the last door of the train, which only leads to the drivers section. Some people have walked through a few carriages, and each time the doors are inviting. There’s a brightly lit green button and you can see through the windows to the carriage beyond. The last door is different though; there’s a handle, the door button is unlit and, the biggest clue of all, the view through the window is of blackness – there is nothing beyond., But still people try and open it before giving up, looking around either puzzled or sheepishly before turning around to find a seat. Some are tipsy, others seem perfectly sober, but many try it.

But what puzzles me more is the people who walk down the outside of the train, get on at the last set of doors and then try and go through the end of the train. I’ve never seen the train parked in such a way that it is impossible to see that there are no further carriages, there’s always a space. But sometimes, it does not register and they try the door; or, even scarier, maybe it does register but the door is tried anyway, soem small part of the brain living in a Harry Potter worl where there is a train behind the locked doors, where they will get a nice large seat and no-one to bother them.

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