Saturday, 29 January 2011

So lately I've found myself wondering...

…what if I stood just a little too far over the yellow line? What if I stumbled and fell in front of the train on the Central Line as it came barrelling down the track to scoop up all of us who are shuffling off to the daily grind? Would it hurt very much or would it just be over in a painless second? Aside from the yellow line, there isn't much to separate humans from being insects on the windscreen of a car at the end of the day… or in this case at the beginning

I think this is where I should probably reassure you that I am not pondering throwing myself in front of a train. First, I’ve all too often had my commute fucked up by someone who decided that his/her life wasn’t worth living so they edged out over that yellow line. Second, I have had one too many people I care about choose to voluntarily end their lives, so I know how horrible it feels to wonder if there’s something I could have done to prevent that. Third, I can’t bear to think about how my students would feel about me choosing to end my life prematurely. How many ‘inspirational’ speeches/stories have I made encouraging them to be successful and happy beings by their own definition? So, I don’t push myself over the edge. However, is it only guilt of how my deliberate stumble would affect others that keeps me on the right side of the yellow line?

There’s nothing in my life I can really moan about to be fair. I have a group of great friends. I do interesting things. I have a good job and make decent money. I am in good health (as far as I know). I may be thousands of miles away from my family, but we remain quite close. I see the good and humour in everything and I laugh a lot… a lot. I’m forever making jokes when I probably shouldn’t. But, it makes other people laugh too, or at least smile, so I carry on.

My love life has not been the best, but it’s nothing for me to despair over. I am not attached to anyone presently and in all honesty, I’ve only ever been in love twice. The first time happened over twenty years ago and ended rather tragically with his death and me thinking I could never love again. The second time was much more recent but didn’t work out. We’re now good friends. Neither of these men felt the same way towards me as I did towards them, but they did (and one still does) care about me quite deeply, just not enough to stay with me romantically. Somehow that doesn’t really feel like I’ve loved and lost. More like I loved and drew.

I’m probably too old to have biological children, which is something I do regret quite a bit. I’ve always loved children, thus my choice of career, and have always wanted to have my own. However, that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards, but it is certainly not worth throwing myself in front of a train.

So, I’m not certain why but a strangely macabre thought has danced through my brain as I stand and wait to be carried away each morning. Just as I feel the breath of the train just before the shadow of its lights oozes out of the darkness of the tunnel, I find myself wondering, “What if I stood just a little too far over the yellow line? What if I stumbled and fell in front of the train?"

Don’t worry. I plan on staying firmly put. I’m just curious how much it would hurt if I didn't.